Wes Miller: If you've ever been to a Microsoft campus, you've probably seen shared-use kiosk systems in the reception areas of most of the buildings. These systems were built with a Web-based front end connected to Windows Terminal Services so employees running from building to building could catch up on e-mail and have other
connectivity. Originally they were set up using older PCs that were being taken out of service and recycled. The hardware, which was otherwise too slow, lacked memory, and had inadequate hard drives, was perfect for thin client applications. If you have older hardware for whatever the reason, you too can put it to good use as workstations in conference rooms, as training machines, and so forth. Rather than adding to landfills, you can be greener and get more bang for your buck.
If your organization is looking at a Windows Vista® upgrade, you might find that some of your hardware is older than you thought. That may mean no Trusted Platform Module (TPM) or Aero® support, but if all your systems need is a larger hard drive or more RAM, then upgrade the hardware. However, some of your systems will simply not be able to run Windows Vista because the hardware is too underpowered or is lacking key functionality. That's perfect hardware to run as a Windows® thin client. Figure 1 lists the Windows Vista hardware requirements so you'll know which bucket your current hardware falls into.