#2 - Desktop Virtualization (UI Processing) Using products such as VMware Desktop Manager (VDM) and Citrix XenDesktop, each user's desktop (OS and applications) resides in a separate partition in the server called a "virtual machine." Users are essentially presented with their own PC, except that it physically resides in a remote server in the datacenter. They can modify the desktop and add applications like they could with their own PC (a "fat client"). For details on the virtual machine architecture, see virtual machine. See Citrix XenDesktop and VMware.
#3 - Browser Based (Data Processing) This approach uses the same thin client platforms as the first two, but differs in that the user's machine does the data processing. However, it is still a thin client because it is devoid of all applications except for the browser. The applications come from Web servers on the Internet or local LAN, and the data also comes from the servers. Web-based e-mail is an example of browser-based processing as well as Web-based productivity applications such as Google Apps and Zoho. In some cases, copies of the data can be stored locally, but the software scripts are always downloaded into the user's browser for each session. Years ago, this was the approach of the "network computer," which was developed to compete with Windows PCs (see network computer).
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