Viva Las Vegas! First USB-enabled Virtual Desktop

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, virtual computing just got a bit greener.

NComputing, the virtual desktop makers, unveiled a low-cost, first-ever virtual desktop accessible via a USB. The company, which already claims about 2 million users of its line of Ethernet-based and PCI- based virtual desktops, said its new U170 model will sell for under $100.

NComputing says that its virtual desktops use as little as 1 watt of electricity (compared to 110 watts for a regular PC), helping companies save 90% on electricity bills. They also drastically reduce e-waste because they are tiny (access devices only weigh 150 grams, compared to 9.6 kilograms for a PC), and because they last much longer than PCs.

Here’s how a USB-enabled virtual desktop works:

– It plugs into a standard PC’s USB port

– NComputing’s virtualization software (included) enables another user (actually, up to nine other users) to share that PC

– The U170 has connections for additional users’ peripherals, including keyboard, monitor, and mouse.


Saving Money, Too

For many companies, virtual desktops save money because it allows them to avoiding buying more PCs and spending money on per-PC software licenses. Virtual computing also lowers operating expenses, not only in electricity costs but also because it eliminates the problem of PC obsolescence by reducing the number of PCs that need to be replaced regularly.

Along with the development of virtual desktops, the IT industry has also recently seen a new cloud-based desktop – where apps and data are stored in the cloud.

While both users and their companies still have a lot of adoption issues when it comes to virtual machines, due mostly out of concern for privacy of data and security, it’s great to see that corporate IT continues to strive for efficiencies and “greenness” via these tools.

  • David

    I’m with NComputing and actually privacy and data security are enhanced with virtual desktops. It is much easier to secure data at a central point than on hundreds or thousands of endpoints. The real reasons that we see enterprises adopting slowly are quickly fading: 1) enterprises like to see a technology in play for 3 year before they adopt it and that’s where we now are, 2) they’ve been burned by the earlier high cost and poor performance of traditional thin-client architectures, and 3) they haven’t had enough incentive to investigate alternative desktop architectures (they’ve been doing the same basic thing for the past 20+ years). The economy has changed that and desktop buying will never be the same again.