Microsoft recently announced it's own multi-seat solution,Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, seven years after Userful pioneered the technology on Linux back in 2002. Another classic of Linux vs Windows, but this time Linux has is in the lead with Userful having already sold 750,000 seats.
And the company has just released Userful Multiplier V3.7 adding improved multilingual support among other features, making it possible for even more countries to take advantage of the cost savings of Userful.
Over 10 Linux distributions are supported including Ubuntu 9.10, SLED 11, and Fedora 11. Userful is available in 64-bit and 32-bit packages in both RPM and DEB formats, making it compatible with virtually all open source software.
Much like Windows MultiPoint, Userful virtual desktops allow up to ten
students to simultaneously and independently share a single PC, eac with their own monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Userful also supports many of the same USB multiseat devices as Windows MultiPoint, making it easy to turn one computer into many.
Unlike Windows MultiPoint which requires users to purchase a Windows Server license and a separate client access license (CAL) per seat, Userful's solution uses free Linux for the server, reducing the cost to just $69 per
"We think Microsoft joining us in the multiseat space is great news, as it underscores the worldwide demand for multi-seat computing, a demand Userful has been satisfying for seven years now shipping Userful Multiplier for Linux." said Tim Griffin (right) President of Userful Corp.
Tough economic conditions, budget pressures, and funding shortfalls in the US have led more K-12 school districts to embrace the hardware, maintenance, space, and electricity savings of Userful multi-seat Linux desktops.
Mature OS application
Much the way Microsoft scrambled to prevent Linux's desktop threat on Netbooks, Microsoft is now taking action on multi-seat where it has watched entire states and countries move to desktop Linux. But Free Linux and OS software provide cost savings and flexibility that Windows simply can't match.
Deploying Linux based computer infrastructure frees governments from
Microsoft dependence, allowing them to engage local companies to source and customise a Linux distribution and OS software stack uniquely suited to their regional needs. Governments are also able to engage local companies to source all hardware for deployments, since Userful has broad support for standard computer hardware including low-cost video cards, not requiring any proprietary hardware.
Userful desktop virtualisation software is based on the simple fact: PCs sit mostly idle while we e-mail, surf the web, or type a document. Userful's PC sharing technology leverages unused computing power to create a high performance, an environmentally efficient alternative to stand-alone PCs with thin clients that offers the features of a full PC for $69 per seat, a cost effective solution for school computer labs,classrooms and libraries.
"It's hard to say no to a mature technology that allows you to deploy
over twice as many desktops for the same budget, while also slashing
maintenance and electricity costs," says Sean Rousseau, Userful marketing
manager. "And three years down the road, instead of having to replace a mountain of obsolete computers, only 1 out of every 10 desktops will need replacing. That's the long term sustainability that schools need."
A free 2-user version of Userful Multiplier software for personal or trial use is available.