Wyse Technology's Z90 Thin Client Does Video, Web Conferencing

The Wyse Z90 is based on Windows Embedded Standard 7 with dual-core AMD G-series processors under the hood. Its CPU cores, vector engines, and a unified video decoder for high definition decoding have all been squeezed onto a single piece of silicon. If the Z90 were a car, it's the kind that would want to race other VDI clients, just for the thrill of leaving them in the dust.

All of this might sound like overkill, but Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and strategy officer at Wyse, says customers -- particularly financial services, health care, retail and manufacturing firms -- are increasingly demanding this level of performance.

"Many newer VDI adopters aren’t limiting it to call centers or task-based environments, and we're actually seeing general movement to VDI across the company," McNaught said in an interview.

The Wyse Z90 can handle high definition video, two-way Web conferencing and full HD Flash. It also comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, which opens the door for peripherals like high definition Webcams and sophisticated audio processing, McNaught said.

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Wyse also claims the Z90's 3D business graphics performance is 187 percent better than the HP t5740 thin client in a head-to-head comparison.

The Z90 includes DisplayPort and DVI as well as optional parallel, PS/2 and dual serial port support. On the networking front, it's available with support for gigabit Ethernet, integrated A/B/G/N dual band Wi-Fi, or FiberNIC.

The Z90 list price is $499, but for clients that buy in volume, pricing generally begins in the mid-$400 range, according to McNaught. Wyse is distributing the Z90 through its network of about 3,000 U.S. VARs, and the company's partnerships with Citrix, VMware, Microsoft and Kaviza ensure that customers will have a wide range of device choices, McNaught said.

Wyse is also preparing to roll out "Project "Pyramid," a proprietary technology that enables a thin client to automatically configure itself for use on the network in less than two minutes.

VDI deployments on Windows Embedded can require between 30 minutes and three hours of configuration time per client, according to McNaught, who says this can amount to major time savings for larger VDI deployments. Wyse plans to launch Project Pyramid in the first quarter for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and in the second quarter for Windows Embedded Standard 2009.

"A couple of hours per device can slice days or weeks off a VDI deployment schedule," McNaught said.