NComputing, a start-up that offers an inexpensive way to run multiple workstations from what is effectively a single PC, has raised $8 million from BA Venture Partners.

About billion users worldwide cannot afford computers, and so aren’t using them, the company says. So it is providing multiple users a way to share a single low-end PC, with each seat costing between $70 and $200, depending on the features. The low price, the company points out, undercuts the other well-known project pushed by Nicholas Negroponte. Negroponte is chair of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative, which provides $100 Linux-based laptops to children in developing countries.

NComputing says 140,000 units have been deployed in schools and businesses in 45 countries. It is aiming its product at families, schools and people in developing countries.

As part of the financing, Stephen Dukker, former chief executive of low-cost computer company eMachines, has come out retirement to join NComputing as chief executive and chairman, replacing founder Young Song.

The company said it will be relocating its headquarters to Silicon Valley in the coming weeks, while keeping distribution and technical support operations in its current facilities in Orange, California.

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