Dell buys thin client market leader Wyse

The ultimate fat client vendor extends services shift by acquiring thin client marketshare leader

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Dell buys thin client market leader Wyse

Computer maker Dell has announced its intention to acquire thin client marketshare leader Wyse, for an undisclosed figure.

The acquisition reflects Dell's continued transition from a PC manufacturer to an enterprise IT systems and services vendor.

Dell said that the acquisition will "significantly extend its desktop virtualisation offerings". The company currently offers desktop virtualisation server appliances, and plans to offer cloud-hosted desktop virtualisation services in the future.

According to market analyst IDC, Wyse is the marketshare leader for thin client devices, low power PCs that are cheaper and require less maintenance than the traditional desktop computers that made Dell's fortune.

In principle, having a virtual "desktop-as-a-service" offering that is vertically integrated with thin client devices could give Dell a strategic lifeline with which to survive the transition to the post-PC era. However, it could also accelerate the decline of Dell's existing corporate PC business.

In recent years, Dell has been furiously acquiring companies to bolster its data centre systems and enterprise IT services lines. Earlier this month it acquired network security provider SonicWall for a reported $1.2 billion, and at the end of February it bought backup software vendor AppAssure.

"We're not really a PC company anymore. We're an end-to-end IT solutions company," CEO Michael Dell said in February. His comments came just months after he said that Dell wanted to be in the PC business "more than ever", after HP mooted spinning off its PC division.

So far, however, Dell's post-PC reinvention has yet to improve its sluggish revenue performance: sales rose by just 1% to $62.1 billion in its latest full financial year, although net income did increase by 33% to $3.5 billion.