NComputing, a low-cost computer maker based out of the Bay Area, signed a deal with India to provide 50,000 PCs to 5,000 schools in a southern Indian state. So how did it beat out two-well financed competitors in the super-cheap PC market — Intel’s (INTC) Classmate PC and non-profit’s One Laptop Per Child’s offering?
By being even cheaper: NComputing says it will install its computers at $70/seat, compared to OLPC’s $188/seat, and Intel’s $200. The trick: Each Ncomputing “computer” isn’t actually a computer — it’s just a monitor, keyboard and mouse linked to a box that powers four more “computers”. So NComputing is really selling 10,000 PCs and 50,000 monitors/keyboard/mouse combos. But as long as it works, who cares?