Ultimately, Windows Thin PC is a very interesting piece of software that is hamstrung by both timing and licensing issues.

On the licensing end, this is only available to corporate customers via Microsoft’s Software Assurance program (and also to OEMs, whether under the Windows Thin PC name or the former Windows Embedded Standard moniker). A specialized, compact version of Windows that strips out most extraneous features but still maintains compatibility with existing Windows software could easily find a home on netbooks or on older machines or in certain home server configurations, but consumers and enthusiasts are left with no (legal) way to obtain it (however, I again note that you can apply many of Thin PC’s settings to a vanilla Windows install to reduce the OS’s footprint without resorting to dodgy third-party tools).

And that brings us to timing, the fly in the ointment that really ruins any potential utility this product might have had: consider that Windows Thin PC is being offered only to businesses, many of which are still in the midst of rolling out (or planning to roll out) Windows 7. Consider, also, that Windows 8 appears at the moment to be on schedule for a late 2012 release, some 18 months from now.

Corporate IT is not a fast-moving beast – there’s little chance that Windows Thin PC, which isn’t even officially available in its final form, can be approved, tested and deployed in a business that is in the early stage of deploying thin clients to users. For businesses already using thin clients, chances are that they already have their servers and clients figured out, and it may be that Windows Thin PC offers few incentives to switch, especially if they’re using a non-Microsoft product.

Even if Windows Thin PC makes a lot of sense for your business, you have at best a little over a year before Windows 8 comes along and the cycle begins anew, and that sort of turnaround time isn’t going to be appealing to risk-averse IT managers.

I think Windows Thin PC is neat. I think it shows that the Windows platform can be flexible and modular, and can potentially be adapted from the fat client OS that it is today into something a little more cloud-friendly. That being said, I don’t think that this particular niche product is going to have much time to find its niche, and that most interest in it is going to be academic rather than practical.

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  • Brovane - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    Looking on my tech-net subscription and they are not even making it available to tech-net users. I don't see this being real popular. We are already in full planning and testing to roll out Windows 7 where I work so I don't see many small businesses adopting this.
  • merid14 - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    I agree, where I work we are getting ready to roll out windows 7... on very old hardware lol. This would be a great product if it were already out. However it isn't even finished yet...
  • vol7ron - Saturday, April 30, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I thought almost immediately after Win7 came out, someone was able to get it working on a Pentium II with 64MB of RAM (http://www.osnews.com/story/22707/Windows_7_on_a_P... or 96MB of RAM (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-7-Pentium...

    Or here's one on the Pentium M 1.6GHz w/ 1GB (http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/setting-up-wind...


    Granted the performance wasn't evaluated, but if you can get it working on a Pentium M or Pentium 2, going up to a C2D will probably operate fine.
  • user777 - Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - link

    That is not really a standalone PC client - it is designed as a part of Microsoft Enterprise VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure):
    The Windows Embedded 7 Thin Client is actually a product from the line of Windows Embedded Compact 7:
    Windows Embedded Compact 7 is the latest version of Windows CE (available from 1997) and was released in February. It was available for download like RC and evalution version long time before from October 2010:

    BTW there is also even Zero-PC-client (embedded in the Monitor) for solutions based on PCoIP display protocol:
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    That's because it's still in beta. connect.microsoft.com
  • Hydgijkj - Sunday, June 5, 2016 - link

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  • Hydgijkj - Sunday, June 5, 2016 - link

    Merci pour votre partage et je voudrais partager mon expérience avec vous, je suis une bonne fenêtres la semaine dernière, elle est authentique et pas cher, <ahref="https://www.facebook.com/Office-2011-for-MAC-Key-1... postes qui m'a coûté un peu d'argent et fonctionne bien maintenant, vous pouvez trouver toutes les clés pertinentes là, vivement recommander à vous, le service client est bien calme.
  • liveonc - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    A private cloud or just pushing Atoms? It's nice if you can be a N00B & use thin clients. But will anyone want to host this for them if you can trust them?
  • clarkn0va - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    19% less RAM usage? Disabled page file? How is this a thin OS, or a corporate OS when it's already using more resources than the OS that most corporations are using currently, Windows xp?

    I work at a small college. If I want to disable the pagefile and hibernation on our desktops I'll do that in SCCM and be done with it. We have 50+ thin clients and not one of them has hard storage in it--they're PXE-booting from Linux (LTSP) then automatically launching a full-screen RDP session, thanks.

    From what I've read here this one should be rebranded "Windows Null PC". Or maybe "Windows Pork Tallow PC: All the fat, none of the flavour".

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