What are Thin Clients?
In a client-server environment, the server processes requests from the client. Once processed, the request is then sent to the client machine. This paradigm is usually used with websites or other web-based services, which are mostly data-intensive. There is processing involved of course, and it varies between applications.
Clients initially were full-blown computing nodes in their own right, with the capabilities to run applications on their own. However, as networks grow larger, and the number of clients increase, this setup works out to be expensive and somewhat unnecessary.
With fully fledged client machines, chances are resources are getting wasted. Even if a client has the potential to perform a certain task, it may not be doing so at all – therefore that resource is wasted. However, if the clients had fewer features, and relied more heavily on a server computer, no resources would be idle. A client machine, which is not fully equipped, is known as a thin client.