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NComputing pushes OLPC to one side in Indian schools deal

Microsoft climbs on board education bandwagon

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NComputing says it has scored a major coup in India where it will provide virtualisation technology to 5,000 schools in Andhra Pradesh.

The Silicon Valley firm has convinced the Indian state to opt for its range of computing products over Intel’s Classmate PC and One Laptop Per Child’s dinky XO machine.

NComputing said 1.8 millon schoolkids would have access to the new systems. It also reckoned the deployment of the firm’s goods to Andhra Pradesh was the biggest contract it’s ever won in India.

Each of the 5,000 secondary schools will have a ten-seat computing lab with two desktop PCs and eight NComputing machines.

NComputing banged the “eco-friendly” and “low-cost” drums in justifying why the Indian government had chosen the vendor over more obvious candidates such as the XO.

The firm says the Indian state's government will save lots of cash. "At about 70 dollars per seat, our solution is the ideal platform to enable schools, businesses, and governments to maximise their PC investment,"said NComputing chairman and CEO Stephen Dukker.

The company also reckoned Andhra Pradesh will "use 90 per cent less electricity compared to a traditional all-PC solution".

Andhra Pradesh will install 10,000 PCs in the state. Each one will run five virtual machines based on NComputing technology. Acer is supplying the desktops.

"NComputing is proud to have been chosen by Andhra Pradesh to fulfill its vision to improve learning and computer literacy throughout the state," said Dukker.

Microsoft is also set to benefit from the deal, as the computers will run Windows Server and its latest Office suite.

The proprietary software kingpin prefers to see it as way of “enabling affordable access to computing for education,” according to the company’s India chairman and veep, Ravi Venkatesan.®

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