Computer vendor, NComputing, has announced it is partnering with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) to provide 500,000 virtual desktops to school students in developing countries by 2012.
The project is being completed under the auspices of the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (GAID), which was launched by the UN in 2006. The final cost of the project to the UN will be determined once the roll-out schedule is finalised.
NComputing, which formed its second Australian distribution partnership earlier this year will provide Linux-based virtual desktops that are designed to require little maintenance, as well as logistical support with large-scale rollouts. The workstations are also able to support Windows platforms. NComputing estimates that the average ratio of virtual desktops to PCs will be seven to one, but this will vary between projects. The project will use new and refurbished PCs and components sourced from a variety of vendors and recycling centres.
A pilot project in Burkina Faso has already been completed, with three more projects in Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania slated for 2009.