Microsoft is finally retiring its Windows (opens in new tab) Thin PC product on October 12, 2021, after almost a decade in service.
Launched in 2011, Microsoft introduced Windows Thin PC to help customers repurpose their existing, but under-powered PCs as thin clients (opens in new tab), giving users a cost-effective alternative to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI (opens in new tab)).
While Windows Thin PC was well-received on launch, over time however, it faded from the limelight, with the availability of more useful, and feature-rich alternatives, along with the evaporating cost-disadvantages of VDI.
- Check our collection of the best virtual desktop services (opens in new tab)
- Take a look at these best laptops for business (opens in new tab)
- We've also built a list of the best workstations (opens in new tab) on the market
“For organizations still maintaining Windows Thin PC, Microsoft recommends that you consider moving to a newer remote desktop (opens in new tab) client,” suggested Microsoft in the brief reminder (opens in new tab).
Thin isn’t in
Windows Thin PC is a stripped down version of Windows 7 for Windows XP-running PCs that lacked the resources to support the full version of Windows 7.
The product was aimed primarily at business users to help companies experience the best of Windows 7, while saving on the hardware upgrade costs on their existing computers.
Despite being named Thin, Windows Thin PC didn’t run on thin client devices. However the product did offer a wonderful thin client experience thanks to use of features such as RemoteFX to enable remote desktop clients to use the graphics hardware on the remote server.
Of course, computing has moved quite a lot in the last decade and with the availability of feature-rich remote desktop platforms, it was only a matter of time before Windows Thin Client joined Windows 7, which itself reached end of life in 2020 (opens in new tab).
- Here’s a list of the best tech for hybrid working (opens in new tab)