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What is it called when you combine a thin client with virtualization technology? Ericom hopes the answer to that question is PowerTerm WebConnect, a product that enables server-based computing using a variety of popular technologies. Server-based computing is straightforward, encompassing the creation of virtual machines and applications on a server and then delivering those sessions to thin clients. This is almost like how a traditional mainframe would work with dumb terminals — all of the processing happening on the mainframe, and the terminal is handling the input and displaying the results.

On the PC side of the equation, the technology to do that is not new at all. Citrix has been doing server-based computing for years with its ICA (Independent Computing Architecture), Microsoft with RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and a handful of others with proprietary solutions. All were designed to do basically the same thing — deliver a desktop experience from a server down to a thin client. Until recently, those solutions were limited to niche deployments where the cost of hardware and software was not prohibitive and the applications were relatively simple.

Advances in software, hardware and broadband connectivity have changed that. Now it is feasible for most any company to run desktops via a thin client, and Ericom has been one of the companies to make it all possible.

The company’s success will come from its ability to best Citrix at its own game, by showing that PowerTerm WebConnect V5.6.1 is cheaper, faster and easier to manage than Citrix’s XenApp platform.

Ericom hopes to cover the widest market space by offering  PowerTerm WebConnect in four different flavors – Enterprise, Remote View, Desk View and Host View. Each version differs in platform support and feature set, with Enterprise offering pretty much every feature available.