Network Computing Devices (NCD) has admitted its Windows CE-based terminals are priced artificially high to increase margins for resellers.
The thin client manufacturer announced the availability of its ThinStar models at PC Expo last week. At the same time, Microsoft launched its Terminal Server Edition of NT and Intel - which acquired a 4.4 per cent share of NCD in March - confirmed a three-year development agreement based on the chip giant's lean client technology.
NCD, which makes network computers for IBM, was confident that the support of Microsoft and Intel, coupled with the lure of higher margins, will convince the channel that thin clients are a viable alternative to PCs.
The ThinStar models, priced at about £480 per seat, will be sold exclusively by the channel. Distribution is being handled by Ilion, Northamber and Sphinx CST.
Bob Gilbertson, president at NCD, claimed resellers would not be discouraged from selling Windows-based terminals on the basis of price.
'Initially, we will be employing artificially high pricing for these products to protect our resellers. There will also be significant value-add opportunities with the installation of these networks,' he said.
Nick Gorringe, R&D manager at Basilica, whose core business is selling Hewlett Packard PCs, is rolling out 200 NCD terminals to one of its customers.
He confirmed Basilica was committed to pushing the thin client model.
'These machines genuinely address business requirements, rather than being technology for technology's sake,' said Gorringe.
He added that he did not expect HP to support Basilica's emphasis on pushing thin clients to corporate customers.
Simon Mavel, networking sales manager at thin client reseller NE Computing, said margins are about three times more on thin client than on PC sales.
'You can make higher overall margins on a lower cost deal,' he said.
But Mavel added: 'You have to take into the account the long-term trade-off. Once these systems are installed they require very little support or servicing.'
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