NComputing specializes in making dirt cheap computers that can be virtualized, or split seven ways so that lots of users can use them at the same time. Today, the company is announcing that it has sold more than two million of these “virtual desktops” in 140 countries.
Each node can accommodate one user with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. A bunch of nodes connect to a single desktop computer, whose processor can be shared across all of the nodes. By virtualizing the desktop this way, Redwood City, Calif.-based NComputing can lower the costs per user to as little as $70.
NComputing also said today it will release in November a new universal-serial-bus (USB) version of its virtual desktops with a new edition of its software too. That new software will work with Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system.
The company says that it has made good headway in cash-strapped businesses, governments, and schools. It argues that its thin-client computers can typically cut computing costs by 70 percent and electricity costs by 90 percent. In the recently ended third quarter, NComputing said it won more than 100,000 enterprise seats such as tire retailer Big O Tires.
Stephen Dukker, chief executive of NComputing, says that virtual desktops are redefining the economics of computing. Still, two million units sold in the past couple of years is a drop in the bucket compared to sales of personal computers. But NComputing has advantages. Since its machines use 1 to 5 watts per user, they qualify for energy rebates.