NComputing on Wednesday announced a new version of its virtualization device and software that reduces the cost of computing to around US$100 per user by turning a single desktop PC into 11 workstations.
The X550 desktop virtualization kits cost US$449 each, and two kits are needed to enable a PC to serve 11 people at once. The kits come with five NComputing XD2 access devices, a PCI plug-in card and vSpace virtualization software. Users still need their own mouse, keyboard and screen.
"Our mission has always been to slash the cost of computing," the company said in a statement. "With the global economic crisis, the need has never been greater."
The idea behind the X550 kit is that the average PC today is so powerful that its excess capacity can be shared with no slip in performance, the company says. NComputing created the software and access devices to turn that excess capacity into an ultra-low cost computing system for schools, businesses and other organizations.
The previous version of the kit, the X300, has found wide use in schools around the world, and especially in emerging markets. Schools in nations including India, Macedonia, Uganda and the U.S. now use X-series NComputing devices. The company had sold more than 1 million seats of its systems worldwide as of the end of September.
The X300 enables a single PC to serve seven workstations and has won praise for its rugged design and low power requirement of about 1 watt per user. The average desktop PC needs 110 watts.