It is unlikely that the thin-client vision can be realized in the developing world in the short term unless connectivity and power supplies get a lot better, fast. However, the basic concept may become operationalized through the mobile. For Networks, Thin Is In – New York Times A decade ago, the network computer — also called the thin-client computer — was promoted as a replacement for personal computers and desktop software. Thin clients have no hard drives to store desktop applications, like Microsoft’s Word or Excel, permanently. The leading supporters of the inexpensive, terminal-style machines were Microsoft’s archrivals at Oracle and Sun Microsystems.
How will John Gage’s proposal play out in the telecom eco-system of developing countries? Who will operate them? Will they suffer the same fate as ICTA’s VSAT based connectivity for telecenters, where you can do Internet but cannot call the next village? Can you just drop technology in, without addressing the overall institutional setting? At Davos, the Squabble Resumes on How to Wire the Third World – New York Times Separately at the meeting on Saturday, John Gage, the chief researcher at Sun Microsystems, proposed an industry plan to deploy advanced data networks in developing economies with contributions of engineering staff time of 1 percent.