NComputing Wins Bid to Provide Computing Access to 1.8 Million Students in India


REDWOOD CITY, CALIF., October 13, 2008 – NComputing, the leading provider of low-cost computing solutions, today announced that it was chosen to supply a massive 5,000-school educational computing initiative in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The initiative will provide computing access to 1.8 million children throughout the state. Andhra Pradesh is the largest and most populous state in South India. Andhra Pradesh will contract leading education IT firms to build the computer labs in 5,000 schools totaling 50,000 computing seats over the coming few months. The win marks the largest single deployment of NComputing’s solution in India. The decision to deploy NComputing’s low-cost and eco-friendly solution establishes the government of Andhra Pradesh as an innovator in educational computing and provides a blueprint for other governments and institutions considering similar projects.   


By leveraging NComputing, the government will save $20 million in up-front and ongoing costs. The government will also use 90% less electricity compared to a traditional all-PC solution. “NComputing is proud to have been chosen by Andhra Pradesh to fulfill its vision to improve learning and computer literacy throughout the state,” said Stephen Dukker, chairman and CEO of NComputing. “At about $70 per seat, our solution is the ideal platform to enable schools, businesses, and governments to maximize their PC investment. We are the world leader in desktop virtualization and the scale of this deployment further extends our leadership position.”


The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today’s PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computer’s capacity. NComputing technology creates multiple virtual desktops on a single PC so that many users can tap the unused capacity and share it as if each person had their own computer. Andhra Pradesh chose the NComputing X300 solution, which enables up to seven users to simultaneously share one PC. 


The computing labs will be used to teach computer skills and office productivity (spreadsheets, word processing) as well as subjects like reading and math. The entire system will run on the Microsoft Windows Server operating system and use Microsoft Office Suite. "India holds a strong position in the knowledge economy today due to the country's consistent investment in education over the years," said Javier Arrupea Gitlin, director, Microsoft Unlimited Potential Group. "In India and around the globe, Microsoft is committed to enabling affordable access to computing for education.  Through Microsoft's Unlimited Potential commitment, we are continually looking for innovative and affordable technology solutions that can sustain social and economic progress.  Initiatives such as this announced today that leverage the value to educational computing provided by the Windows Server platform represent yet another solution that can help move us towards this goal."


“With the modernization of India’s economy, students are eager to learn the computer skills that will prepare them for the digital workplace – but most government school students have never even had the chance to type on a keyboard or click a mouse,” said Mr. Raj Shah, chief marketing officer of NComputing, “This computerization project shows how forward thinking governments can use proven and practical technologies like NComputing to bridge the digital divide.”


The project is based on an innovative outsourcing model. The Andhra Pradesh government will outsource the entire project for five years to leading educational IT companies, including Educomp, Everonn, NIIT, and Social Computers. The model is referred to as Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) and requires the companies to install, staff, and manage the labs. This arrangement helps ensure that the labs are installed quickly and performance benchmarks are met. The five-year period also enables school staff to develop their own competencies in managing the labs and computer-aided teaching.  


NComputing’s technology is used by 20,000 organizations in more than 90 countries. In the United States, NComputing has been deployed by over 4,000 school districts in classrooms, computer labs, and libraries. Although smaller in scale than Andhra Pradesh, school districts in North America face many of the same challenges including tight budgets, demand for wider computing access, limited IT support staff, and a desire to use “green” technology. 


NComputing has received numerous green computing awards because it uses just 1 watt of electricity (compared to 110 watts or more for stand-alone PCs).  “Our students are learning about global warming and increasingly engaged in school initiatives to lower the carbon footprint,” said Dave Hlady, IT Specialist with Rocky Mountain School District #6. “We rebuilt our computer lab with NComputing and a few PCs and the students planted a hundred trees to create a carbon-neutral computer lab.”


NComputing recently announced that Will Poole, former corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Group, has joined as co-chairman.


About NComputing, Inc.

Winner of the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Award, NComputing, Inc. was founded with the goal of making desktop computing affordable for everyone. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, NComputing is a privately held virtualization software and hardware company. The company's patented technology drastically lowers desktop computing costs, improves manageability, and reduces both energy consumption and e-waste.



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