I wonder if anyone actually remembers the days when computers were so expensive that there used to be several people using every computer at the same time. Well, apparently that's not just the past, it may be the future as well.
NComputing, a new start-up which is being run by the founder of EMachines has just closed its second round of financing on technology that allows for up to 30 people to use the same computer all at once. Of course, this likely sounds extremely unappealing to you. I'm guessing you have about 30 tabs open in Firefox right now, along with Photoshop, at least one instant messaging client and maybe a document or two.
But for some purposes, this couldn't make more sense. First, in areas where computers are used for one simple purpose. Why have 30 low-power Dells running 30 card catalog look-ups in a library when you can have one computer doing all that work? And in "underserved" markets, like schools in developing countries, where having one computer per student is completely impossible.
Of course, this makes sense for a lot of reasons. NComputing's splitting hardware will never be obsolete, as long as protocols remain the same. So the only hardware that needs to be replaced every 3-5 years is the single central computer. The system uses up to 90% less power than having a room full of individual computers. Costs are an order of magnitude lower, wiring is much simpler, as is monitoring use (for schools and libraries).
NComputing just closed on a $28 million round of funding and they have partners in over 70 countries, from Afghanistan to Zambia. And yes, there are partners in the developed world as well, if you're interested in outfitting your own office, library, or school.
written by dita, February 08, 2008
written by weee, February 09, 2008
written by MB-BigB, February 09, 2008
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