Local VXL reseller may be sold

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The head of thin client reseller VXL Australia has confirmed he is trying to sell the business.

Michael Crocombe, managing director at VXL Australia, said he was exploring a possible sale of the business, which sold thin client devices made by US-based VXL Instruments.

"I am hoping to sell the business to another interested party," he said.

However, he would not discuss the move further, arguing that press coverage might jeopardise the deal.

"Once [the deal] has happened, we're happy to chat," Crocombe said.

Formed in 2000, VXL represents VXL Instruments in Australia and New Zealand.

VXL sold various standard devices for different operating systems, including Windows CE, Unix, X-Windows, XP Embedded and Linux. It also had an XP Embedded development centre to custom-engineer devices for customers.

Last year saw the number of devices shipped to Australia in 2004 almost double the number in 2003, with the Itona family of products proving particularly successful, VXL said at the time.

Last year also saw VXL sign Unix specialist MPA Systems as Australian distributor.

Market analyst IDC last month released its annual thin client market forecast, for 2005-2009. The report found some 59,000 thin client devices had been sold in Australia in 2004 -- what it said was a "record" result.

Michael Sager, senior PC hardware analyst at IDC, said the market had continued to post growth rates to make most hardware vendors green with envy.

Thin client case studies were proliferating and Australian chief information officers were increasingly accepting the technology, he said.

"[But] despite this market growth, only one vendor effectively saw growth during 2004," Sager said.

That was market leader Wyse, which gained some 15 points in market share to 80.5 percent. But IDC believed the thin client device environment offered inherently good ROI for businesses and the forecast was "very bright", he said.

"IDC's forecast through 2009 has the market shipping over 126,000 devices with a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent from 2004," he said.

There would be almost one thin client device for every ten commercial desktops sold in 2009, Sager added.

"Economic, geographic, and organisation dynamics of Australia make it a prime market for thin client devices. Perhaps it's time for IT suppliers to start paying attention," Sager said.

HP came second with 8.1 percent, Sun third with 4.4 percent and VXL Instruments fourth with 2.7 percent of the market, according to IDC's figures.

Maxspeed accounted for 1.1 percent of the market and other vendors just 3.2 percent, IDC said.

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