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Thin clients change National Semiconductor

Thin clients change National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor has been so impressed with the thin-client technology it has deployed over the past 18 months that the company is hosting a CIO get-together at its headquarters to show off its new computing environment.

The chip maker expects to save millions of dollars per year by converting end users' desktop systems from full-blown PCs to Windows-based terminals that rely on server-based applications. So far, the company has converted about 800 of its roughly 8000 desktop systems to thin clients in one form or another.

But desktop savings aren't the only thing National plans to brag about to the Silicon Valley executives invited to view the company's data centre and see how thin clients perform. The com-pany says its thin-client environment enables the easy exchange of documents and attachments around the world because all users now have the same server-based version of applications such as Microsoft Word.

Fast app deployment

The thin-client scheme also supports the fast deployment of new and improved applications. That's because the IS group can now load software on a few servers instead of thousands of PCs.

Until recently, most of National's desktop machines were Windows PCs running Microsoft applications and some home-grown programs. About 18 months ago, incoming CIO Ulrich Seif and other top National executives decided that the company's computing environment needed to be more efficient and that costs had to be more controlled. That meant the emergence of a new corporate-wide IS focus on centralising operations and creating enforceable standards for all levels of computing, Seif says.

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