Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it plans to offer a new version of Windows 7 designed specifically for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) customers.
The new Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) will be released as a beta version on Microsoft’s Connect site in Q1 2011, according to the Microsoft. The first version is expected to be available by the end of March.
Windows Thin PC is a smaller footprint, locked down version of Windows 7 designed for virtualised environments to rebuild their existing PCs as thin clients. “PCs with WinTPC will not require the VDA license that regular thin clients will need to access VDI desktops,” wrote Windows Commercial business General Manager, Gavriella Schuster.
Microsoft is not planning to charge customers for Windows Thin PC. Instead, the company will offer it as part of Microsoft’s Software Assurance offerings for customers. Microsoft’s Software Assurance Licensing allows businesses large and small to spread licence costs over multiple years and receive “free” upgrades to newer versions during the licence period. PCs with WinTPC will not require the VDA license that regular thin clients will need to access VDI desktops.