Here at PCMag, we review budget desktop PCs, and we’ve even built a $200 model. But if you want to find a desktop PC for probably the lowest price you’ve ever seen, Userful is making that possible with its new MultiSeat Linux virtualization software.
Intended primarily for schools and businesses that need to deploy lots of systems for very little money, Userful’s software can turn one Linux system into 11 separate workstations—for as little as $59 each.
Setup involves plugging USB-based thin-client devices (including the HP t100, Wyse E01, Goodway DU2600, Atrust m200, MCT MWS 8820, and DisplayLink devices) into the single host PC; then attaching a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to each device; and installing the MultiSeat software. A user at a system may use different applications at the same time, and multiple users are supported—just like on any other desktop. The $59 price represents the cost per workstation for educational institutions.
MultiSeat is also available as part of a software bundle for schools that includes the Edubuntu Linux distribution, iTALC classroom computer management tool, OpenOffice.org office suite, Firefox, and subject-based applications for astronomy, chemistry, languages, mathematics, and more. Classroom computer management software is included to help teachers manage and monitor the individual workstations.
According to Userful, more than 50,000 schools worldwide are already using the MultiSeat software.
In a statement, Userful president Tim Griffin said, “Userful has been flying under the radar, quietly taking the world by storm. We’ve already done the world’s largest ever desktop virtualization deployment, and one of the largest digital inclusion initiatives in the world. Userful is the perfect solution for anyone who wants the benefits of desktop virtualization, without the price tag. It’s also lower cost than netbooks, and doesn’t have the same concerns around recharging, durability, theft, e-waste, warranty, or small screen size.”
Userful offers a free 90-day trial with 11 workstations for any department of education anywhere in the world. For more information, or to obtain trial licenses, visit Userful’s Web site.