A UNITED NATIONS initiative has signed up thin-client vendor Ncomputing to deliver 1,000 Linux based desktops to pilot programmes at schools in underdeveloped countries.
Ncomputing will not only provide its One-Watt thin-client devices but will also provide logistical and operational support for deployment in primary and secondary schools through 2012. A pilot project has already been completed in Burkina Faso, with more projects scheduled for Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania in 2009.
The firm's technology connects from six to 30 thin-client desktops to a fully configured PC through PCI cards, providing each user with a 'virtual desktop' work space in the PC that drives a small networked device to run a video monitor, mouse and keyboard. Each thin-client desktop costs far less than a PC and uses but a small fraction of the energy of a PC.
"The NComputing virtual desktops give us an important opportunity to significantly expand computing access and simplify deployment," said UN project organiser Dr. Paul Jhin. "This maximizes the use of donated and refurbished computers and simplifies deployment and power requirements, which are key issues in many parts of the developing world."
Ncomputing claims to have shipped over a million 'virtual desktops' to more than 140 countries during the last 24 months, and says that more than 20,000 schools and millions of students are using its technology.
The company also says that its thin-client PC sharing technology has qualified for energy conservation rebates and rate discounts from electric utilities in a dozen US states and two Canadian provinces. µ