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Canadian vendor offers $59 Linux PC

Calgary company can turn one PC into 11 through virtualization

Userful Corp. of Calgary, Alta., has released Userful MultiSeat 4.0, a software product that can turns one Linux-based computer into 11 computer stations using standard USB devices.

The company said that USB devices such as HP t100, Wyse E01, MCT MWS 8820, and DisplayLink can be used.

According to the company, Userful MultiSeat enables organizations to deploy large numbers of computer stations for a very low cost, whether in the classroom, office, call center, oil field, hospital, library, military base, internet cafe, or anywhere else multiple computers in close proximity are needed.

Another claim by Userful is that its solution reduces hardware costs by up to 80 per cent and energy costs by up to 90 per cent. Priced at $59 per seat (educational) the Userful MultiSeat comes equipped with features similar to a full desktop computer, the company said.

In this solution, each user has their own dedicated PC, but in reality they are sharing the resources of a single host computer because the USB MultiSeat devices are connected to the host PC for each monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Tim Griffin, president of Userful, said we’ve already implemented the world’s largest ever desktop virtualization deployment, and one of the largest digital inclusion initiatives in the world. Userful MultiSeat 4.0 represents over one and a half years of development on top of a decade of shared resource computing experience. 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 without the same concerns around recharging, durability, theft, e-waste, warranty, or small screen size.

In the Userful offer, customers get a 11 stations and a 90 day pilot.