Monday, January 4, 2010

Zylog to usher in low-cost computing

Teaming up with IBM, Canonical Ubuntu for desktop computer services.

Chennai, India, 30 December 2009 – Now, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), similar to Software as a Service (SaaS), for low-cost personal computers (PCs), which can be nearly 60 per cent cheaper than the conventional Windows-based PCs, is the in-thing.

Users can buy PCs with ‘open standard' software ‘as and when required' on a monthly fee and also get back end support from vendors. Till now, one could access ‘open standard' software from the Web for free, but could not get support services for many of the applications.

Independent market estimates range up to $2,000 for the cost of migrating to the Windows 7 operating system for many PC users. New PC hardware requirements account for a significant portion of the added expense.

Chennai-based Zylog Systems Ltd has partnered with IBM and Canonical Ubuntu to offer the DaaS-enabled Desktop Computer Services called ‘PowerCube', which was launched recently in the US to address the needs for low-cost computing.

IBM and Zylog will next spearhead the low-cost computing in India, Brazil and South Africa, Mr Shivkumar, Executive Vice-President, Business Development, Zylog, said. “We should be in India in the next couple of quarters,” he told Business Line.

PowerCube is powered by IBM Client and Ubuntu Desktops working on the ‘open source' platform with Zylog being the system integrator providing support services for clients. A conventional Microsoft-based desktop could cost $3,000-5,000 for maintenance while PowerCube costs $800-1,000 for enterprise run desktops, including support. A pilot is going in some of the district schools in the US using PowerCube. Initially, the target sector is education and retail, he said.

PowerCube's collaboration tools could reduce total cost of ownership by nearly 60 per cent and provide return on investment in 12 months. For instance, the solution in PowerCube includes open standards-based components such as Word processing, spreadsheets and presentations from IBM Lotus Symphony that is a free-of-charge download on the Web.
It also comes with email from IBM Lotus Notes or the cloud-based LotusLive iNotes, whose prices start at $3/user a month.

There is also the ‘cloud-based' social networking and collaboration tools from starting from $10/user a month and Ubuntu, an open platform for Netbooks, laptops, desktops, and servers. Conventionally, all these applications need to be bought separately for a licence fee, he said.

Mr Kumar said Zylog invested nearly $1 million on resources and go-to-market strategy for PowerCube. Nearly 14 engineers worked on the project technology and research. The company will invest another $2 million on technology and R&D, he said.

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