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Which Tablet OS works best as a thin client

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Last Modified: 2013-02-01
I have a production environment, we currently use windows CE thin clients and touchscreens for our production systems.  I wish to start taking advantage of the latest tablet forms to improve the appearance of stations, and reduce cost.  

IOS, Android and Windows 8 tablets are all over the place.  I wish to accomplish the following goal (Which is basically to make an unmanned kiosk):

Have the tablet start and run an RDP Session.  Thats it.  The trick is providing an environment where when the tablet starts up, it automatically starts RDP, and if the RDP session is closed, or interrupted it automatically restarts RDP.  The rest of the tablet environment needs to be secure from the user by password.  So, even if they cut power, and manage to start it back up, it will only connect to the RDP session.  

Further to that, the RDP settings cannot be modified without a password.

So, with IOS, Android and now Windows 8 can anyone tell me if they have accomplished this, or have an idea how to accomplish this?

IOS guided access is one item that I have explored, except it doesnt launch the app automatically on a power fail reboot.  Or at least I cant figure out how.

Any advice is appreciated.  

Regards
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Question by:TheMetalicOne
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kernelhamster earned 1500 total points
ID: 38768276
That really depends on what you like as a matter of personal preference.
There are multiples pros and cons of each - however I would have to say that iOS (Apple) is out of the question. Reason being, it's just too rigid for what you would like to do.

That leaves two alternatives - Windows and Android.
Lets break them down starting with Android.

Android has a few remote-access tools supporting RDP, VNC, and LogMeIn.
However, there is no out-of-the box solution to make a thin client do what you want.

The second option is a Windows based Tablet. Windows 8 is out, yes, and it is easier to accomplish what you like, however it is trying to follow the same type of model as iOS - at least for the RT/ARM based versions.

Your best bet would be to go for a x86/x64 tablet, such as the upcoming Windows Surface Pro. The reason is, you have a much more customizable and open system to do what you want.

The problems you will run into are the integrated security features built into non "real" tablets. For example, it's hard to handle some interrupts (both hardware and software), - the "home button" being one of them - a single key press would bring you to the home screen and you would have full access over the device - as there is no real way to have users on these devices.

So, the long short of it is.
If you were limited to a 'mobile' tablet, I would pick an Android tablet, you could get one with an HDMI out, but the main issue sticks out - there is no application to do what you would want. You would require a new application to be written, which would require you to hire a mobile Android developer.

The simplest way would be to go with a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet (or any Windows tablet - I still prefer Windows 7) and use that as a thin client. You can set up user permissions far easeir, and the number one advantage is that it is an easier platform to develop for, and far more extensible than the rest.
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by:TheMetalicOne
ID: 38845109
Thanks, we are going Windows.  Android doesnt work, IOS with an RDP app and guided access was easy, but not reliable.  Windows Pro on domain with GPOs set to hte max worked well.
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