Thin client specialist Wyse Technology has announced a new partnership with Novell through which it will bring Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client operating system to future Wyse thin client hardware.
The deal sees San Jose, California-based Wyse making use of SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client, which was launched in March at Novell’s BrainShare conference. Based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, the thin client variant is aimed squarely at channel partners who are able to configure it to meet their specific needs.
The advantages of using a customized SLE operating system is that it presents a user and management interface that is consistent with Novell’s standard desktop and server operating system configurations.
Wyse already offers thin client products based on its own Wyse Linux distribution, and will continue to do so, but the addition of SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client will give users more choice and flexibility, according to Wyse.
The partnership will also strengthen Wyse’s hand in its ongoing competition with Hewlett Packard for the position of thin client market leader. Wyse holds that title currently with 33% share in the first quarter according to figures from research firm IDC, but HP recently closed the gap with its acquisition of Linux-based thin client specialist Neoware.
That acquisition added Neoware’s 12.7% market share to HP’s 19.2%, putting HP within striking distance of the lead and boosting its Linux software, client virtualization and customization capabilities.
Wyse’s partnership with Novell could increase its potential to get closer to IBM and Lenovo, both of which have strong partnerships with Neoware that will be tested following HP’s acquisition.
In announcing the acquisition last month, Neoware’s president and CEO, Klaus Besier, admitted that there are certainly relationships that will maybe not be as strong as previously.
If Wyse is to take advantage of those weakened relationships then teaming up with Novell is a smart move. IBM invested $50m in Novell in 2003 as part of its acquisition of SUSE Linux, while earlier this week Novell announced a deal through which Lenovo will deliver notebooks preloaded with SLED.