Explore the Userful Press Kit >>

Userful Announces the World's Largest Desktop Virtualization Deployment - 356,800 Green PC workstations

Calgary, Canada, and New Delhi, India – March 3, 2009 – Userful today announces that they have been selected to supply 356,800 virtualized desktops to schools in all of Brazil's 5,560 municipalities.

This initiative will provide computer access to millions of children and adolescents throughout the country. It is a historical achievement, being: the world’s largest ever virtual desktop deployment; the world’s largest ever desktop Linux deployment, and a new record low-cost for PCs with the PC sharing hardware and software costing less than $50 per seat. The decision to deploy Userful's low-cost and environmentally friendly desktop virtualization solution establishes the Brazilian Ministry of Education as a global leader in computer education and provides other governments and institutions worldwide with a proven model for improving student to computer ratios while rolling out large numbers of desktops with minimal cost and environmental impact.

Urban students try out their new Userful
Multiplier workstations

Download High Resolution Image

Given the Indian state of Andhra Prades' recent decision to support its 1.8 million schoolchildren by integrating a virtualized desktop solution across its 5,000 schools, Userful's Brazilian deployment is a powerful case study to evaluate. It provides a blueprint that could allow India to cost-effectively provide computer access through its government and educational programs, while aggressively reducing its IT support and maintenance costs and environmental footprint.

Userful Multiplier is the simplest, lowest-cost, and highest performance approach to desktop virtualization on the market. All other virtualization solutions lead to sacrifices in performance. Userful offers the features of a full PC including high performance video for less than $50 per additional seat in large deployments (not including monitors and keyboards) and uses standard PC hardware. Userful and ThinNetworks are providing the desktop virtualizaton and PC sharing software and hardware while Positivo, Daruma, and Itaultec are providing the PCs and services. Userful has been selected in a competitive bidding process for all three phases of the project. The first phase, 18,750 PC workstations in rural schools, has already been installed and they are functioning well.

Userful's cost saving ability to turn 1 computer into up to 10 independent workstations enabled the Brazilian government to supply it's schools with an unprecedented number of computer workstations. Savings of 60% in up-front costs, 80% in annual power savings and additional savings in ongoing administration and support costs as compared to a traditional PC-per-workstation solution all contributed to making 356,800 new workstations for Brazil's school children possible. “Userful is very happy to have been selected to participate in this historic opportunity to help millions of children get the computer education they need in a sustainable way,” said Tim Griffin, President of Userful. “At just $50 per additional seat for the PC sharing hardware and software, Userful Multiplier is the best solution for schools, businesses, and governments wanting to maximize their IT investment. This record setting deployment solidifies Userful's position as the world leader in high-performance low-cost desktop virtualization.”

Desktop computers sit idle while we check our e-mail, surf the web, or type a document. Userful's PC sharing and virtualization technology leverages this unused computing power to create an environmentally efficient alternative to traditional desktop computing. Up to 10 users can work on a single computer by simply attaching extra monitors, mice and keyboards. "This deployment alone saves more than 170,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, the same as taking 28,000 cars off the road, or planting 41,000 acres of trees”, said Sean Rousseau, Marketing Manager at Userful. Turning 1 computer into 10 reduces computer hardware waste “e-waste” by up to 80%, further decreasing its environmental footprint. A free 2-user version of Userful Multiplier software for home use is available from free-2-user.

Brazil2 Small
Rural students take a moment to spread
peace in their new computer lab

Download High Resolution Image

Project steward ThinNetworks is the exclusive distributor of Userful solutions in Brazil. Their unique knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by the Brazilian Ministry of Education allowed ThinNetworks, with the help of Userful Multiplier, to successfully install low-cost computer labs in both urban and rural schools, where in most cases there are inadequate and insufficient facilities.

The hardware developed and manufactured by ThinNetworks for the project is designed to work reliably in harsh conditions with little supporting infrastructure. The solution has even been successfully deployed in schools in indigenous villages, where infrastructure is minimal, electricity is unreliable, and there is little physical space. By the end of 2009, the project will have benefited millions of young Brazilians. "This project will bring access to information technology to almost every young student in Brazil. But this project will mean much more: it is the beginning of a cycle of children and adults socially integrated," says Luiz Ferreira, President of ThinNetworks. With this project, ThinNetworks becomes a world leader in the distribution of multi-solutions, with more than 800,000 terminals installed in the country.

About Userful

Userful is the industry leader in desktop virtualization and multi-station Linux computing: the low-cost, high-performance alternative to thin clients. Userful's powerful software transforms standard PCs to support up to 10 simultaneous monitors, keyboards and users, and manages them all at once through a central website. Privately held and founded in 1999, Userful launched their flagship product in 2003 and was recently named Alberta's 10th fastest growing company under $20 million in revenue. A free 2-user version of Userful Multiplier software for home use is available from free-2-user. Userful software is used in over 100 countries, and is bringing affordable green desktop computing to millions of users worldwide. If you're interested in becoming a Userful partner or reseller, please email partner@userful.com. Public Computing Solutions