I am hoping to squash all of your brains together and come up with the perfect solution!
No mean feat by any means! but one i shall try never the less!!
What i need from your genius like brains is a few ideas to drag our current platform into the 21st century. I am a techie so don't think i'm some idiot project manager with no clue about IT, that is not the case I assure you. What i want to do is come up with a few ideas as to how we can improve our current desktop landscape. We have a huge need to dump 1000's of exhausted Dell lattitude D531s, Tosh A10s, M5s and various ailing equipment, chuck Citrix in the bin with a view to work anywhere computing! I've been looking at Surface RTs which have had some shocking reviews and I am struggling to find the "all in one" pc. I want decent processors, lots of RAM or ideally SSD, I want decent connectivity for usb, i want to 3G\Wifi and a slick operating system which i can connect in to our corporate systems. Just to give you an idea of this, we're running office2010, exchange2010, Vsphere5 on an AD structure and of course have lots of bespoke software which creaks and moans under anything other than XP (this part is just yet another challenge!)
Anyway, if you could help advise as to where to start with the hardware that would be amazing!
So you do not want to go with Virtual Machines and Thin Clients as a solution?
As for upgrading an infrastructure of 1000+ pcs (and look like some Macs in there) can be a major task. I would start by categorizing your users. You will have Power Users, Normal Users and what ever. Then look for hardware that will best fit the software used in those groups. Then I would come up with base system images that would fit that hardware, buy, install and repeat.
So as a result I can not tell you what kind of hardware to get until you do an audit of your computers and setup categories.
I personally prefer HP computers but you may want to talk to a sales rep from each of the major vendors to see who will give you the best deal and best service once you establish what kind of computers you will need.
Just keep in mind Future Proofing your systems. If my budget can afford it, I try to double every thing. So if you need 8 Gigs of RAM then go with 16 Gigs. This would also depend on your life cycle plan. If you don't have one I would sit down and take some time to iron one out.
Sorry I could not help but I hope I pointed you in the right direction.
I recommend starting with some idiot project manager with no clue about IT, to get IT people like you under control. That all sound very much like you have no clue what you are doing and what the real issues are.
Check out the Dell XPS 12. Use Citrix to create your virtual desktops. Users will have a laptop or a tablet, as needed, and the price range is decent. The hardware specs on them are great for most things.
3 VLANs - One for your servers, one for your virtual desktops, and once for your phsyical equipment (XPS12s...). That's a good start.
Depending on what you have available, you could use SCCM for imaging/deployments, VMWare/HyperV/XenServer for your backend. App-V for streaming apps (Citrix Streaming will be done at the end of this year). App-V works great with a SCCM (ConfigMgr 2012) backened. (2007 is good too, not as robust though).