Calgary, AB, Nov 2, 2010 – Userful Corporation, the global leader in Linux desktop virtualization, today released a Beta version of its Linux alternative to Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. The software, named Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011, turns 1 Linux computer into 10 high performance independent computer stations. It offers the same features as Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, plus some additional features MultiPoint lacks such as hundreds of free educational software applications, and a suite of tools for managing classroom computers. Userful MultiSeat also has higher video performance than Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, and at just $59 per seat (education pricing, commercially available Q4 2010), and with no server licensing costs, it is also a lower cost alternative.
Userful MultiSeat enables schools to quickly deploy large numbers of computer stations for a very low cost, whether in the classroom, computer lab, or school library. It is easy to set up, use and maintain, and provides teachers with the tools they need to give their students a high quality computer-based education.
With Userful MultiSeat, schools can deploy twice as many computers for the same cost. It reduces hardware costs by up to 80%, and reduce required infrastructure (power plugs, cabling, etc.) by a factor of 10 as compared to a traditional PC-per-seat solution. It also reduces energy costs by up to 90%, enabling schools to recover the cost of their computers through electricity cost savings over a few years. On average, Userful's education customers report saving 60% in up-front costs, and 80% in annual power savings as compared to their previous PC-per-station solutions. That's why more than 30,000 schools in 100 countries are using Userful to provide millions of students with computer access.
"I recommend the Userful MultiSeat solution because having many user stations from just a single host computer is a better use of that computer", said Sergio Castellanos, Project Coordinator, Wintel Mexico. "With Userful we can learn, work, have fun and teach within a group without worrying about configuration, or viruses in the computers. It is an excellent way to start the Linux experience."
Each student individually controls his or her own station and applications. To the students, it seems like they each have their own dedicated PC, but in reality they are all sharing the resources of a single host computer. Set up is Plug-And-Play -- simply plug USB MultiSeat devices into the host PC, plug a monitor, keyboard, and mouse into each USB MultiSeat device, install Userful software, and the system is ready to support multiple students using different applications at the same time from one computer, each with their own monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Userful MultiSeat supports both HP t100 and MCT MWS 8820 USB MultiSeat devices.
Since Userful MultiSeat is Linux based, the operating system (OS) and application software is all free! Dozens of free, open source, end-user and education-specific applications are included, such as: Edubuntu OS, iTALC classroom computer management tool, OpenOffice.org office suite, Firefox web browser, and applications for subjects including astronomy, chemistry, languages, mathematics, planning, and more. Hundreds more free applications can be installed with a single click through the Ubuntu Software Center (it's like the Apple App Store, but everything is free!). Teachers can use free open source software to further lower costs, easily tailor curricula to individual students, and monitor and control the classroom computers. Students can develop digital skills that will help them with their school work and prepare them for jobs in the future.
With the included classroom computer management software teachers can centrally manage and monitor the computer stations with ease. For instance teachers can see what each student is doing on their station, send students messages, remotely take control of a student's station, share files with and between students, create or delete student accounts/change passwords, and add a new application to all computer stations by installing it only once on the host computer, among other control features.
"Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011 enables governments to extend computer based education to more children using existing budgets", said Beverley Gallagher, VP Strategic Partnerships at Userful. "Digital inclusion is a very important opportunity, and this Beta brings us closer to bridging the digital divide throughout the developing and developed world. It's opportunity, multiplied."
For a comparison of Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011 and Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 visit: http://www.userful.com/products/product-comparison/userful-multiseat-vs-windows-multipoint