Startup creates zero-client virtual desktop

Startup creates zero-client virtual desktop

Former XenSource CEO takes aim at streamlining user machines with a new desktop device connected to client software on virtual servers

Pano Logic, a startup led by former XenSource CEO Nick Gault, is looking to change the way client operating systems are delivered to desktops with a small device it introduced Monday.

The company, founded about a year ago, says its technology could replace PCs altogether by swapping out the larger machines for a small device designed to connect back to desktop virtualization software hosted on a server. The Pano device is able to connect keyboard, mouse, display, audio and USG peripherals over an IP network to an instance of Microsoft Windows Vista or XP running on a virtualized server, Gault says.

The result is a no-software desktop device that reduces management and security concerns and enables users to address their own performance problems by clicking on the Pano Button, which offers a set of actions to take to solve desktop management issues.

"It doesn't run an operating system. It is just a chip so there is nothing to maintain or secure, and malware can't infect it," says Gault, Pano Logic CEO. "The devices eliminate the need to have IT staff in remote offices or sent into the field to manage desktops. All the Windows software can be run and managed centrally."

Gault says unlike other thin-client companies, such as Neoware and Wyse, Pano's technology puts zero software at the client location and can be plugged in anywhere to enable users to access their customized desktop applications. Customers install the Pano software, which includes a VMware server if customers don't already run the software, on top of Windows and distribute Pano devices to users. They log in to the device and their desktop operating systems and applications are available to them.

Pano is expected to be generally available by the end of September. Pricing is on a per-device basis. Perpetual licenses start at US$300 and subscriptions can cost US$20 per month.

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