Photo: Joi via Flickr
Dell is serious about not being a PC company anymore.Today, Dell announced it is buying Wyse Technology, an early pioneer of a kind of technology that can make a cheap piece of hardware without a hard drive act like a full PC.
Dell wouldn’t say how much it spent, but Wyse’s trailing 12-month revenues were $375 million, so the purchase price was probably several times that.
This is the second large acquisition Dell has made this month, as it transforms itself into an enterprise company, away from consumer devices. Earlier it bought security vendor SonicWall in a deal reportedly worth $1.25 billion..
Wyse is an icon in Silicon Valley, founded in 1981. The company makes software and devices that let employees log into virtual PC “desktops” that actually live on a server somewhere. This makes it much easier for a company to manage the software its employees use. They don’t have to make sure that every individual PC gets patches or software updates.
Wyse has been doing this type of thing since before the average Joe had access to the Internet. In the old days this type of technology was called thin-client computing. Today it is called desktop virtualization, and Wyse competes with companies like Citrix and VMware.
Wyse offers desktop virtualization in two ways: software as a service, and with hardware devices. These look like wireless routers, or like laptops without hard drives. It still calls these thin clients. In 4Q 2011 alone Wyse shipped more than 20 million units worldwide of these thin client devices, Dell says.
Dell also gains Wyse’s 180 patents.
Michael Dell has now been saying that Dell is no longer a PC company and that’s looking more and more true. It has struggled with making newfangled mobile devices. Last week it stopped selling smartphone in the U.S. It had previously killed tablets and netbooks, too.