Dell plans to acquire Wyse. (It's about time!)

Dell announced today that they're planning to Acquire Wyse. (This is not an April fool's joke.)

Dell announced today that they're planning to Acquire Wyse. (This is not an April fool's joke.) This is a deal that totally makes sense and something that we've been talking about / wanting to see for years. HP bought thin client maker Neoware back in 2007, and that combined with what Compaq was doing with thin clients turned HP into a major thin client maker.

So on one hand, you have major computer maker (HP) which also makes thin clients, you have the other major company maker (Dell) who doesn't make their own thin clients, and you have the biggest thin client maker (Wyse) which doesn't make computers. It was really just a matter of time.

Dell has had an OEM/reseller relationship with thin client maker DevonIT, and I've asked Dell repeatedly when they were going to get into the thin client business "for real." They always said that when the deal with DevonIT is fine for them, and if they need to make a bigger move, then they'll do it. I think almost every time I'm in Round Rock visiting Dell's end user computing group I ask them, "When are you going to buy Wyse?" Owning the thin client capacity in-house definitely makes Dell seem more serious about these types of devices and virtual & cloud desktops in general.

So what happens to DevonIT? Why didn't Dell buy them? It's simple: Wyse is the #1 thin client maker (based on sales volume), and Dell bought that. Buying Wyse means that Dell is now the #1 / zero client / cloud client / whatever maker. Wyse has also been doing a good job diversifying away from pure hardware. (Check out what Jack wrote about last week on about Wyse's new PocketCloud Explorer app.)

At the of the of the day, this all makes sense. Now we have two huge computer makers that are also the biggest thin client makers. Exciting times ahead!


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Brian, could not agree with you more!  This will give us resources to take this space, and our customers, to the next level.  Synergy will be really interesting   :-)


So, Cisco has a thin client business based on Wyse tech, so I'm betting that goes away. Does that mean Cisco is in the game, looking for a replacement?

I kind of feel bad if you invested in Cisco thin client equipment and are now about to have your platform replaced. Maybe Cisco management makes that not as big of a deal, though.

So, if Cisco is shopping again, who's next? ChipPC? 10zig? Igel? Devon? Who is #3 in that space? (I feel like I'm missing an obvious one)

Would IBM get back in the thin client game? I think they have a partnership with DevonIT, so maybe not (and maybe that's why we haven't heard much from DevonIT for the past few years).


Yeah but IBM isn't in the client device business, so I don't think they're getting in. Maybe Lenovo though?


Not sure they sold much of their OptiPlex FX clients so I have no idea how they will introduce Wyse to their customers ... ThinClient is about solution not a simple box to deliver. Hey, anyone bet on their OS Streaming solution future too ? I remember Dell trying to provide Citrix "Ardence" PVS for Thin Clients ;) I agree about IBM - first Virtual Bridges then what ?


As a Dell employee and an avid VDI/SBC enthusiast, I'm really excited about this move.  Dell was also one of the largest resellers of Wyse (so I've been told numerous times, I don't have figures) so to me this makes sense.  In environments where Dell had no opportunity for VDI, we're now a player.  I also think this move is disruptive to Cisco's VDI strategy and Cisco is probably our biggest competitor in the datacenter, not HP, IMO.

On the flip side, I always liked DevonIT as an alternative to Wyse.  They're VDI Blaster product is great and their VMA management stack worked really well and was very simple to use.  While I know nothing about this deal besides what's publicly available, Dell has now acquired a significant amount of open IT automation "operating systems" between Force10, Scalent, KACE and now Wyse.  Would be cool to see down the road "smart-switches" with thin/zero client OS integrated and streaming at the hardware level all managed from a single interface from network, to server to storage to hypervisor, to client....maybe a pipe dream, we'll have to wait and see.


I'm sure Wyse will operate as it does now for a while while Dell figures out the best way to integrate each company's processes. Even after a while, I bet Wyse continues to work similar to the way it does now, calling the reps and placing the order for specific configs and such. There may be a way to buy a box or two and have them shipped, but you can do that now if you look hard enough.

Regarding IBM - they only partner with Virtual Bridges, so in that way it's (at a high level) similar to their relationship with DevonIT. The problem is that the only way to get those products on an enterprise's radar is to deal directly with IBM. Who calls IBM and says "Hey, I'm thinking about doing desktop virtualization, what can Big Blue do to help me?" Not many.

I always forget about Lenovo, mainly because I don't know anyone that uses them beyond Thinkpads, and I'm old enough that the word "Thinkpad" still sets off the IBM buzzer in my head.


Dell briefly had their own thin clients with the OptiPlex FX160.  It was already out of date using a 1st gen Intel Atom, still using XPe Sp2 and was way overpriced and no patches for it.  

Dell then replaced it with ones from Devon IT, however HP's t5740e is a better more flexible design and has a DirectX 10 supporting chipset.

I hope Dell doesn't ruin WYSE.  I'll be looking forward to seeing WYSE on NY State Gov't contract alongside HP and Dell and Lenovo.


It would be a very disruptive move if Dell subsidized the cost of Wyse devices if you were to purchase their DVS solutions.

$10 - $50 thin clients to boost their server sales would be a good strategy.


@Icelus - I agree completely. The razor/cartridge (or printer/toner/ink) equation would be an "entrenching" business model benefiting the seller and buyer.


@lcelus  Best observation yet- thin clients will be like candy to DELL, whatever product they can sell in addition to servers they GIVE AWAY to boost core sales. Heck, they even do it with Citrix software. Given this history, DELL will be giving them away like pens or mugs, bad time to be another Thin Client vendor


I bet Cisco buys nComputing


@Tal - Please elaborate. I cannot see any apparent connection to what Cisco is attempting to unfold. Maybe I have the analyst blinders on and hence i am honestly very curious as to your opinion. Thx.


@Tal Klein @SillyRabbit it's about the numo SoC that was announced late last year

When you look at the players advertised on the Citrix page ncomputing is featured well. Note the nComputing CEO is the former XD guy who got pushed out, but everything I heard is his boss at Citrix Gordon Payne was forced to do it, so a little reach round to make it feel better since that was the only way Payne could keep his job and get promoted to accomplish even less but this time with even more people to pin the blame on.

I am sure when Cisco looks at this they have to ask do we want our VXI, and client strategy with collaboration and video to be crippled by lack of a SoC partner? Perhaps it's another eco system SoC partner of Citrix like DevonIT but they seem to be weaker than ncomputing in the eco system. But that's all f'ing crap.

If we are all sweating thin clients we have really come nowhere. See 2009 post from Jeroen van de Kamp that nailed it The best thing this announcement tells the world is that loud mouth CEO of Wyse can no longer keep hyping $h1t up about what is an overpriced PC. It's the best thing he ever did for his company. The Thin Client market is flawed in so many ways, that finding a monkey like Dell who can only sell Hardware is just brilliant to get out while he can RICH! Good for him now please stop hyping please I beg you….

If Cisco is really that worried and really want to play I have a better suggestion. Buy Citrix and control HDX and SoC eco system for it and really do something decent vs. the cluster F that you have today with VXI and reference architectures that are overly engineered. However will that ever happen with the politics at Cisco and love for VMware, I doubt it. I bet Cisco makes a lot more money from ESX driving their stack than Citrix. So yet again we may be back to a backwards mindset of thinclient, woo hoo.

They are $h1t solutions for so many use cases. Commodity, low form factor, low power PCs a more flexible and simpler to live with solution. Sure some use cases, but niche. I bet Dell ties this to their VDI in a box crap which is just super basic and easier to implement with RDS if you know what you are doing, especially for the simple use case they are driving. A case of VDI for the sake of it, but I'm ok with that as I see benefits of a desktop OS in the datacenter and the faster the market grows the more chance Microsoft will act one day to make it easier.

@Icelus, flies float around $hit. $10 think client great if it fits limited remote execute only use case. Great for call centers, real world production options are key, remote and local execution. You only need one exception to break the VDI thin client only model. Hence commodity hardware let's you do what you want.


When HP acquired Neoware it was a sad time for a lot of Neoware resellers. It was easy be niche players on SBC market and easy to compete against HP or Dell. Not all of Neoware resellers signed agreements with HP because it is hard to compete with monsters who sell HP for decades.

I see the same situation again, Wyse have a lot of good partners in their reseller network, but only few of them have Dell as their key partner.

What does it mean? it mean that big Dell resellers, which are making a lot of money on desktops will be forced to sell Thin Clients, but  when you have a choice, what to sell - Fat PC with 3 yrs lifecycle or thin clients that can live at least 5 years, what you will choose?.

I hope that Dell will find the way to save partnership with resellers that have technical and sales knowlege and which made Wyse so great target for acqusition


@appdetective - Now we're talking. Cisco doesn't want  the little guys in the battle, even if they came from Ctrix (and I remember meeting Raj many times). They're interested in Citrix. But - in order to stage the acquisition, they would have to come up with a plan to handle the online division and other overlapping technologies.


@sillyRabbit Well GTM assets combined with WebEX enables Cisco to own the market. People problems for sure if they try to integrate, but then who that's life. Other option is to sell that business, it's pretty standalone. They would also get sharefile and get into the data hosting and sharing business where Cisco has no play but would help drive traffic to their network stack if done right.

As for Netscaler, very fast growing business, so why no use that to kill of some brain dead Cisco products and really expand it. Netscaler easily just by it self should be a billion dollar plus business with a Cisco scale sales machine behind it.

The biggest pill however is the huge price tag. Market cap for Citrix is 14 or so billion. So if they had to pay a premium of 30% or so, we're talking big numbers even for Cisco.

It means good bye to the VMware relationship unless they ditch XenServer also or give VMware some peace offering and leave XenServer for things like VPX only.

I doubt it will happen though. Cisco could probably for the same amount of money pick up more technology in new areas that are growing faster. Add to that, that Cisco has really no clue what Citrix does, case and point their hopeless traction in the desktop market today. However as many are predicting VDI will remain niche even if that means multi billion dollars, Cisco would have to think really hard to make such a huge bet on a niche, when they could instead drive share holder value which incremental moves, like fire the fat, hire smart, buy smaller set of tech and put it together under a broader strategy.

Who the F knows, but fun to speculate.


What an interesting play by Dell.  Pretty sure I agree with the poster that thin is not in, well, perhaps better stated as it is growing more niche by the year.  But then, it's a hard time to predict what's next for VDI, corp app store model, etc.

As for whether Cisco is interested in Citrix: I think they should be, but would have done something a while ago when the stock was much lower.  Instead they formed VCE.


@tko would agree that Thin is no longer least thin as Wyse has defined it, and the Microsoft VDA tax for thin clients basicaly put a lid on the market and make locked down PC's more cost effective for VDI.  

Meanwhile thin is very in the way Apple has defined it.  A  key ingredient being avoiding a Microsoft Desktop in the first place.  Not so certain Dell is ready to go there.