“in its home country of Germany, according to the latest independent study from ICT market analysts, ama GmbH. In the survey of over 6,000 businesses with more than 50 people, thin clients accounted for 11% of desktops and 35% of them were IGEL devices.”
10% of desktop PCs being thin clients seems small but it is not. They last three times as long as thick PCs and they can run GNU/Linux instead of that other OS. That’s huge, a potential 30% loss of share for Wintel. That’s right; thin clients don’t need to be x86. They can be ARMed as well.
While M$ does attempt to tax thin clients with huge server licensing fees and CALs, more thin clients run a browser and access web servers directly, cutting M$ out. The annual rate of production of thin clients is still quite low but as Wintel PCs decline in number, the stark reality of the platform declining in all directions looms on the horizon. M$ has nowhere to go but down on client OS and their server licences depend heavily on that installed fleet which is about to shrink. All is not lost but there’s no upside for M$ for the next few years. Small cheap computers of all kinds are eating M$’s lunch.