July 1, 2011 12:07 pm

Here’s the Skinny – Windows Thin PC Available for Download Today!

A few weeks ago, we announced that Windows Thin PC had been released to manufacturing, and today, I am excited to say that Windows Thin PC is now generally available to our Software Assurance customers for download from the Microsoft Volume Licensing site. Not a SA customer? Please see below for further guidance on how you can get Windows Thin PC.

As VDI deployments continue to grow, customers told us they needed an easy way to repurpose their existing PCs as thin clients, leading to the evolution of Windows Thin PC. Windows Thin PC helps reduce the cost of VDI at the endpoint, enabling IT with an enterprise ready platform to provide end users with an excellent thin client experience through the many unique features offered on their repurposed PCs. Some of these features include:

  • RemoteFX support, which ensures that users have a local-like virtual desktop experience.
  • Write Filters that improve security by preventing any writes to the deck.
  • BitLocker and AppLocker features that help strengthen the device for enterprises.
  • FEP support, which makes it possible to use a common set of malware protection tools for your desktops and thin clients.

Additionally, check out our last blog on the Windows Thin PC RTM, which provides detail on the new features we added to the final version based on feedback from the CTP program.

We continue to have encouraging conversations with customers throughout the development process and we’re hearing that many are already getting value out of Windows Thin PC. We previously spoke with Scott Valeri, IT manager for Deluxe Corporation, a $1.4 billion financial services company, who was looking for a way to update the companies aging PCs to a virtual environment to provide higher reliability and performance, with an underlying goal to reduce excessive IT support costs for PCs.

To address these needs, Deluxe developed a Dynamic Desktop Infrastructure initiative, which was designed to support all of the different types of users in the company. This system is made up of a stack of technologies and includes Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), System Center Configuration Manager, App-V, and Windows Thin PC. We recently had a chance to follow-up with Valeri who let us know that the overall goal was to“[move] from a machine-centric management and distribution methodology to a person-centric methodology.”

Additionally, he said that all of the technologies are integral to the system working, but noted the importance that Windows Thin PC plays saying, “Windows Thin PC is a strategic tool within our desktop model and [was] the next natural step in our thin client computing strategy. [With Windows Thin PC] we’re helping employees do their jobs better by giving them the ability to access their virtual desktop [regardless of where they’re work]. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Windows Thin PC is a godsend.”

You can read Deluxe Corporations full story here.

We would like to thank all of our customers and partners who have provided feedback during the program and note that as of July 1, 2011, the CTP program has officially ended and customers are now invited to download the final version of the product. To find out more about the benefits, features and capabilities of Windows Thin PC please visit www.microsoft.com/wintpc. Here, you will also find additional content to help familiarize yourself with Windows Thin PC, such as the Windows Thin PC whitepaper, deployment guides, and a write filters technical documentation.

Further Customer Guidance: If you are a customer and don’t have SA on your PCs, but still want to try out the product, Microsoft offers a few alternative options:

  1. You can download the 90 day evaluation copy that can be accessed via our Windows Thin PC home page.
  2. If you are a subscriber to our MSDN and TechNet programs you can also get the full copy of the product through your subscription.
  3. If you are part of our silver and gold partners in the MPN program you have access to the full product as part of the desktop and virtualization competencies.
  4. Also, you can get SA on your PCs by either subscribing to Windows Intune or Windows VDA. Both these subscriptions include SA benefits, including the right to Windows Thin PC.

Updated November 8, 2014 1:29 am