Virtualized desktops in Brazil

On February 4th, Userful, ThinNetworks and Positivo announced their plan to provide 324,000 virtualized desktops to schools in all of Brazil's 5,560 municipalities—the World's largest desktop virtualization deployment. The Linux-equipped desktops will be offered at a record-setting low-cost for PCs, with the PC sharing hardware and software costing less than $50 per seat. Userful and ThinNetworks will provide the desktop virtualization, including full-screen streaming video, as well as the PC sharing software and hardware. Positivo will provide the PCs and services. This marks the third phase of a nationwide rollout of computer in schools. The first phase provided 19,000 desktops, and was met with great success. Additionally, the computers will have minimal environmental impact—Userful can turn 1 computer into 10 independent workstations, saving the Brazilian government around $47 billion in up-front costs, $9 billion in annual power savings and further savings in ongoing administration and support costs. The computers use 90% less electricity than traditional PC-per-workstation solutions, and save over 140,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Turning 1 computer into 10, through the use of extra monitors, mice and keyboards, also reduces computer hardware waste by up to 80%. Ronaldo Mota of the Brazilian Ministry of Education says their goal is to "bring information and communication technologies to 45,000 schools by 2010, and they will serve about 60% of 2.7 million students." The schools will use Linux Educacional 2.0, a special software package put together by the Brazilian Ministry of Education, to leverage the power, flexibility and costs savings of open source software.