WHAT IS happening with NComputing, particularly in India?
Days ago it was reported that they were looking into the use of Ubuntu or another variant of GNU/Linux (NComputing offers several options). From IDG: “NComputing is working with the state governments of Assam and Tamil Nadu on pilots for the deployment of its virtual desktop technology on Linux PCs, according to Dukker.”
Then, a day or so later, it was announced that Windows somehow made it in, despite this national interest in GNU/Linux. What happened? Well, fortunately we have been tracking some rather mysterious moves in NComputing as of late, namely an appointment of a former Windows manager [1, 2] (one of the highest ranked ones, alongside Jim Allchin and Brian Valentine, both of whom left as well).
It would not take a genius to merely speculate that Microsoft may be getting its grubby hands on more and more companies that ‘dare’ to distribute GNU/Linux in large numbers. As we pointed out before (see links), schools in entire countries offered GNU/Linux to their students because of NComputing.
Another thing that we pointed out before is that “Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential” is code word for “anti-GNU/Linux budget.” We provided examples that show how reactionary Unlimited Potential really is [1, 2, 3]. It’s chasing GNU/Linux wherever there is ‘danger’ of it being deployed.
In the following new press release, the involvement by Unlimited Potential is made very clear. The press release states: “The computing labs will be used to teach computer skills and office productivity (spreadsheets, word processing) as well as subjects like reading and math. The entire system will run on the Microsoft Windows Server operating system and use Microsoft Office Suite. “India holds a strong position in the knowledge economy today due to the country’s consistent investment in education over the years,” said Javier Arrupea Gitlin, director, Microsoft Unlimited Potential Group. “In India and around the globe, Microsoft is committed to enabling affordable access to computing for education. Through Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential commitment, we are continually looking for innovative and affordable technology solutions that can sustain social and economic progress. Initiatives such as this announced today that leverage the value to educational computing provided by the Windows Server platform represent yet another solution that can help move us towards this goal.”
William Poole used to head Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program briefly before he left and then joined NComputing. Is Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential sneaking people into actual companies where they can blindly sign deals with Microsoft? Are they doing deal with themselves? Shades of Paul Maritz inside VMware, that’s for sure!
Anyway, the possibility of an ‘inside job’ is fairly reasonable given what was seen before. Over in Portugal, disappointed peoples still wonder about those Magalhães laptops, whose parent company is in court for fraud allegations at the moment.
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”