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BYOD is boring - how about working on a games console instead?

NVIDIA SHIELD runs Windows games like a thin client, why not Windows apps too?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Some grumble that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept deserves to be called Spend Your Own Money in recognition of the cost of providing a computer hitting workers' hip pockets instead of employers'.

Such grumbles may be less sustainable now that NVIDIA's $US299 SHIELD portable gaming console can run Windows applications.

The SHIELD's Windows capabilities come from NVIDIA GRID, the games-as-a-service rig the company provides to games publishers that allows them to offer their games on a range of devices, including the Android-powered SHIELD. At Vmworld 2013 The Reg beheld Windows games running on the SHIELD and chatted with NVIDIA folk who pointed out GRID is also the company's way to deliver apps to the thin clients it now sells. Indeed, GRID and NVIDIA's thin clients are offered as a fine way to deliver graphics-rich apps to thin clients, so even CAD-wielders can work on lower-cost and easier-to-administer desktops instead of workstations.

There's no suggestion GRID is destined for software-as-a-service providers. Yet with HP, Dell and IBM signed up to sell GRID servers, there's nothing to stop service providers testing the waters. That Citrix's XenDesktop, VMWareHorizon View and Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 with RemoteFX can all play nicely with NVIDIA's wares show there's little standing in the way of delivering apps, even if the SHIELD has not been imagined as a target.

If the console were imagined as a client for anything but games, the device's ability to connect with Bluetooth peripherals means it could handle a keyboard and mouse, an important requirement for most workers. The device's HDMI output means monitors won't be hard to find, while its Tegra 4 Quad Core Mobile Processor and 2GB RAM will make some rival thin clients look wimpy. Throw in the device's ability to siphon off some processing power from NVIDIA GPUs in nearby PCs and there seems little reason to doubt the console could handle most of what an enterprise app can throw at it.

Here at Vulture South, we'd bring our own SHIELD to the office without a moment's pause and argue hard that it's a lot cheaper than the laptop we're typing this story on. And a lot more fun, too, when we're on our own. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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