The system was supported by three HP desktop PCs running Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system and a software add-on from Canadian firm, Userful, called the Linux Desktop Multiplier.
The Desktop Multiplier enables up to 10 independent user workstations – consisting of only a monitor, keyboard and mouse – to share a single desktop computer.
Robin Barker, a director at Blueloop, told CRN: “Software vendor Omni has worldwide distribution rights for the multiplier product and we are Omni’s preferred UK reseller. We have been selling the product since January 2006. Education is probably the key market for the technology, but it is also suitable for call centres, health environments and internet cafes.
“The BETT show has given us a great opportunity to get it out to a much larger audience,” Barker said, adding that although the system is often compared to thin-client technology, it is different.
“The multi-station system outperforms thin clients at a fraction of the cost,” he claimed.
Nigel Wright, sales director at Linux reseller Abtech Computer Services UK, said: “We haven’t heard of this particular product although the concept is familiar. We have found that Linux take up in schools has been slow, largely because so much of the school software is written for Windows. In the business sector it is still growing, especially in businesses focused on the internet.”
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