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Microsoft Windows Thin PC enables businesses to repurpose existing PCs as thin clients by providing a smaller footprint, locked down version of Windows 7. This provides organizations with significant benefits, including:

Reduced End Point costs: Windows Thin PC empowers companies to leverage their end point hardware investments to access virtual desktops that are delivered using Remote Desktop Services.

Excellent Thin Client experience: Windows Thin PC offers many of the benefits of a thin client. Organizations can improve security and compliance on their repurposed PCs, by using write filters to prevent data from being written to disk.

Enterprise Ready platform: Windows Thin PC is built on the proven Windows 7 platform. Enterprise features such as BitLocker andAppLocker further help IT secure their devices.

Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, Microsoft has made it difficult to obtain a license to use this thin client operating system. In order to buy Windows Thin PC a company must obtain a company-wide site license through Microsoft’s Open Licensing Program. They’ve layered a complicated, expensive, and time-consuming process on top of a technology that is supposed to reduce time, cost and complexity. Instead of drawing people in to the Microsoft world, they’re actually pushing people away from adopting this great technology.

I’m a die-hard Microsoft fan: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (way back NT 4.0 style), Microsoft Certified Partner, Cloud Accelerate Partner, etc., but it is so painful to watch a great company make so many bad decisions regarding emerging cloud technologies.

At SiteVentures, we help businesses move to the Cloud by migrating their corporate servers and desktops to Virtual Private Clouds on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Our clients login to their corporate desktops on the cloud using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services client software from any internet-connected PC, thin-client, Mac, smartphone, or tablet.

Microsoft receives licensing fees from Amazon Web Services for the underlying server licensing. SiteVentures provides the Remote Desktop Services per user licenses and Microsoft Office Suite licensing through our Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA). Microsoft receives these royalties per user per month perpetually from Amazon Web Services and SiteVentures. This is the fundamental reason why Microsoft should simply give away their Thin PC operating system; it facilitates their recurring-revenue model for the server-side licensing.

By not giving away this licensing, or at least making it easier to buy, Microsoft is opening the door for open-source (free) Linux distributions or other specialized thin-client operating systems. User adoption issues are more difficult because there is hesitation to move to unfamiliar Linux-based software. Microsoft should leverage this positive position, give away Thin PC, and make it easier for organizations to adopt a complete Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft Thin PC on the old Desktops, Windows Server Remote Desktop Services delivered from the Cloud, and full-versions of Microsoft Office and other business applications on the Remote Desktops.

It should be a simple process to convert an old Desktop PC with any currently-installed fully-licensed version of a Microsoft Windows desktop operating system to Microsoft Windows Thin PC.