Chapter . Desktop Protocols

From Thin to Fat

During the 1980s and 1990s, companies were interested in migrating from “thin” clients, such as mainframe terminal sessions, to “fat” clients. The idea was that instead of concentrating all the computing power onto central mainframes, they could distribute the power among all the PCs on people’s desks. Centralized server resources no longer provided central processing as mainframes previously did and instead simply provided file- and print-sharing services.

This pendulum change from thin to fat clients was considered revolutionary, which would only swing back with the introduction of the World Wide Web. Corporate computer users were newly empowered: They had the freedom to run whichever software they ...

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