Choosing a thin client OS for your desktop virtualization deployment can be tricky.  Windows embedded thin clients offer the latest features, but they cost more and have additional security implications and maintenance compared to Linux based thin clients.  Wyse ThinOS clients are often easier to secure and manage than Linux clients, but often lag in features.  This has changed with the use of the Wyse TCX software, but because of the “thin” nature of ThinOS a few key features are not possible.  Let’s take a look at the latest features available when using the latest Citrix clients.

Feature Windows

XPe
Linux Wyse ThinOS with TCX Comments
Flash Redirection Yes No No Wyse ThinOS with TCX supports flash acceleration which is not as desirable as flash redirection.
Multimedia Redirection Yes Yes Yes All clients support multimedia redirection for video codecs such as wmv, mpeg and avi.
USB Remoting Yes Yes Yes All clients support isochronous USB remoting such as Webcams and offer USB PDA sycronization.  Wyse ThinOS utilizes the TCX software.
VOIP – Optimized Speech codec Yes Yes No XPe and Linux client support the new Citrix speech codec.  Wyse ThinOS uses TCX Rich Sound which is less desirable.
WAN - Branch Repeater Client Yes No No Only XPe clients support the Branch Repeater Client, but the Linux client supports HDX IntelliCache WAN Optimization.   Wyse has a Virtual Desktop Accelerator for software WAN acceleration. 
HDX 3D Graphics Yes Yes No The Linux client does not support decoding of GPU-compressed data streams.

Common features across the thin client operating systems include support for multiple monitors, bi-directional audio, USB flash drives and web browser acceleration.  Many of the Wyse TCX features work out of band which means they will not work with Citrix Secure Gateway or a Citrix Access Gateway running in Secure Gateway mode. 


 

For more information you can read this white paper on selecting thin clients for XenDesktop 4.
You can also check out this Wyse software pdf file on Wyse TCX and other Wyse software.
 

Sunil Kumar
Principal Architect, Desktop Virtualization
CSC Consulting