talks - once again - about "network computers".
First of all, I don't quite understand the concept behind the "network computer" designation. The last computer I had that wasn't on a network was back in the 1980's.
Besides, when I read "network computer" I tend to think of something that acts as a compute node for the Network, something more like a grid node than anything else. So, Marketing has it all upside-down. The oh-so-modern "network computer" is, in fact, an X terminal.
And those, my friends, I also had in the 1980's.
The current definition of "network computer", from an architect's point of view (which is from where I stand, want it or not), still doesn't differ much from the 1980's X-term. Central processing, central session management, remote display. You can log off from the machine in your office and continue your work, as you had left it, from any other terminal in the building, in the company, in the network.
Hmmm. I could do this in 1989. I still can do it today.
The benefits are obvious, and many people have spoken about them. My question, the real question, is Why didn't it catch on?
And the real reason is Fat Users
Fat Users don't like thin clients.
Fat Users like to think they're special, that their machine is brighter-bigger-better than the guys next door's.
Fat Users like to think they have a distinctive activity that makes them need special tools, configured in a special way. Than makes them need extra tools, that aren't even company-standard.
Fat Users like to change the colours on their desktop, because it makes them more productive.
Fat Users like to have a special wallpaper on their desktop, because it makes them more motivated.
Fat Users need
to sync their phones' agenda with Outlook (or something), because Fat Users have this oh-so-very-important life, and they can't miss a meeting.
Oh, and Fat Users need their own printer, that only they can print to. And it has to be connected to their machine - that's how they know only they can print to it.
Network computers aren't the answer - they aren't even a question.
Getting companies to standartize on a platform and on a configuration, getting users to stop worrying about detail and concentrating on being productive - those are the main issues today, as they were in the 1980's.
Fix that, and the door is open for the return of the X-term.