Dell agrees to buy thin-client company Wyse Technology

The deal will give Dell both software and hardware to boost its offerings for virtualizing desktops

Dell has signed an agreement to acquire thin-client hardware and software company Wyse Technology, to expand its desktop virtualization offerings, Dell said Monday.

Instead of running the desktop OS and applications on a PC, the virtual desktop exists only in a virtual machine on a server. In some environments, this allows enterprises to more efficiently and securely manage their users and devices, according to Dell.

By acquiring Wyse, Dell gets both hardware and software it can integrate with its own products to offer more complete packages.

Wyse's hardware portfolio includes both thin and so-called zero clients. For example, last month, Wyse introduced the T10, which uses an ARM-based processor to keep both cost and the operating temperature down.

The T10 uses Wyse's own OS, ThinOS, which has been tailored for use on thin clients. Its small size results in a quicker start. The client can be used with a number of different platforms for virtualized desktops, including those from Citrix, Microsoft and VMware, the company said at the time.

Wyse also offers management software that can control Apple's iPads and iPhones, Android-based devices and its own clients.

The company is also working on Stratus, which will allow IT administrators to manage any device -- including smartphones, tablets, thin clients, zero clients, and PCs -- regardless if that device is owned by the company or by the individual employee using a cloud-based console.

Desktop virtualization is not a new market for Dell. Today, the company, for example, offers the Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) Simplified appliance, which offers preconfigured hardware with factory-installed software for small and midsize deployments.

For enterprises there is DVS Enterprise, which integrates preconfigured servers, storage, networking with software from VMware or Citrix software to support upwards of thousands of users, the company said on a site dedicated desktop virtualization.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is expected to close in the second quarter of Dell's fiscal 2013.

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