Could LG and NComputing Partnership Mean the End of Desktop PCs?

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

LG and NComputing’s partnership will develop an all-in-one computer solution that sells for less than $200 -- potentially rendering desktop PCs obsolete.

The seismic shift away from desktop PCs to laptops, netbooks and mobile device computing struck fear into the hearts of desktop PC hardware vendors, but a new partnership between global electronics vendor LG and desktop virtualization provider NComputing could completely eliminate the need for desktop PCs altogether.

The partnership will create a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-in-one virtualized desktop solution that integrates NComputing’s X and L series desktop virtualization solutions into LG’s new SmartVine N-series LCD monitors, says Stephen Dukker, chairman and CEO of NComputing.

Click here for more about the desktop virtualization opportunity for solution providers.

Much like the desktop PC market, monitor vendors have seen slumping sales and depressed margins as demand shifts to mobile computing devices, laptops and netbooks, says Dukker. In the current turbulent economic climate, manufacturers like LG are searching for new innovations that will keep their products relevant and in demand, and virtual desktop deployments offer an untapped opportunity, he says.

NComputing’s desktop virtualization solution includes both a proprietary hardware access device and Vspace desktop virtualization software. The hardware piece, which is about the size of a deck of cards, enables a single PC or server to be virtualized so that many users can tap into unused processing capacity and share it as if each user were at their own computer.

"LG is integrating the access device into these monitors themselves," Dukker says. "So, instead of being a stand-alone, PC-like device, it becomes an all-in-one computing device, and you just plug your keyboard, mouse and microphone into the monitor," he says. The solution will be priced below $200, and will offer both NComputing’s L series access device, which requires a local PC connection, and the X series, which connects via Ethernet, Dukker says.

In the United States, solution providers will have two sizes to choose from in the LG SmartVine N-series line: a 17-inch and 19-inch monitor, Dukker says. In select other geographies, a 16-inch model will be available. LG’s SmartVine N-series monitors can also be used as traditional monitors that connect using VGA, he says.  

The solutions will not only shake up the traditional PC market, but will significantly broaden the reach of both companies’ solution provider partners, Dukker says, helping them gain a foothold in the space. LG shipped more than 15 million monitors in 2008, and NComputing boasts over 40,000 virtualized desktops in use today. With that kind of reach, Dukker says, solution providers should be able to stake a claim in the market before desktop virtualization becomes mainstream and the market begins to commoditize.

The new solution will also accelerate the adoption of desktop virtualization technology, which could signal a major shift in dominance from desktop PC vendors to monitor vendors, he says.

"Traditional PC manufacturers today think, 'Why would we want to give up selling a $500 desktop PC to start selling a $70 desktop virtualization solution?’" he says. "But they don’t realize that desktop virtualization solutions eliminate the risk of obsolescence, reduces management headaches and offers greater margins.

"If PC manufacturers don’t step up, they are going to lose out to monitor manufacturers who’ve gotten a jump on this market," he says. "This is a huge threat."

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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