IDC reported recently that usage of thin clients in APEJ (Asia-Pacific, Excluding Japan) is having continued strong growth:
“The APEJ thin client market is expected to grow strongly over the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.4%. This growth will be driven primarily by India and the PRC, with good support from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Encouraged by the increase in operational efficiency that organizations have reaped from server virtualization, companies are now open to the idea of desktop virtualization, and thin clients can play an ideal complementary role as the access terminal across various verticals. The government/education, healthcare, and financial services segments especially, which traditionally have been strong proponents of thin clients, will continue to see expansion over the forecast period.”
It seems most of the market has to do with advances in virtualization. GNU/Linux is very effective with thin clients because the same server can handle many more clients, making the investment in hardware pay big dividends. Pity that so many hobble a terminal server with that other OS. Also the base of users is expanding beyond government and education who were heavy users, having many similar users in systems to financial services.