Userful versus Microsoft Multipoint

The idea of timesliced multi user systems has been around so long that its hard to believe that it could make a resurgence but thats what many are hoping. On looking at just two of the options available namely Userful a linux distro supporting up to ten users and Microsoft’s Multipoint option (Terminal services server with management tools) – you get to see the same marketing approach i.e multiple users on one PC.

The target for these is obviously education – although I can think of a few other applications of same. The premise is that the processing power of the cpus currently being produced is such that they can easily handle multiple sessions without slowing the users performance. The two variants mentioned here claim various features and facets and benefits – and bearing in mind these are both commercial offerings (Userful offers a free 2 user version to allow you to test and get proficient).

I can’t help thinking that really the Linux Terminal Server Project should eclipse these other options but I suppose its the packagisation (is that a real word) that makes the commercial options more appealing. Perhaps someone has repackaged the LTSP setup into something approaching a VM appliance or at least a single setup operation. Will be looking at this for some client training needs and will see whats actually out there.