Monday, January 14, 2008

Retro Is In - NComputing (Terminals circa 2008!)

NComputing makes hardware and software for virtual desktop computing. They just raised $28 million in its Series B round led by Menlo Ventures raising their valuation to over $100 million.

Contrary to its competition, NComputing sells its products to educational institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and in emerging markets.

NComputing devices allow up to 30 users to run OS and other applications from a single computer (reminds me of mainframes in the 70s). The device costs between $70 and $200 per user. Over the last 18 months the company has deployed over 500,000 units, including a 180,000-unit deployment in schools throughout Macedonia. The product has also been deployed in schools in Bangladesh, Turkey, Lewisville, Texas, and 19 different school districts in North Carolina. Microsoft products seem to be the biggest cost of their service. Microsoft sells their products at a much lower rate in these markets, thus reducing the cost of the NComputing product.

I believe that these are the kinds of products where Linux-based desktop solutions make a lot of sense.

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