September 6, 2008

"Free the Penguins" Initiative Brings Next Generation of Desktop Virtualization to Schools

Author: JT Smith

Education institutions looking for a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to stand-alone Windows desktops can now deploy their first 30-station computer lab or classroom free of charge.Omni Technology Solutions, Userful and Novell have created an exciting initiative to bring Multi-station Linux Desktops to computer labs and classrooms around the globe. Every university, college and school district in the world is entitled to a free 30-user Desktop Multiplier licence (software valued at $2,970, hardware not included). The first 30 customers will also receive a free 30-user subscription to SUSEĀ® Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell.

"Over 20,000 Multi-station Linux Desktops have been deployed in education. We are confident that as more universities, colleges and school districts experience this low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to stand-alone Windows desktops, they will never want to go back!" said Trevor Poapst, Director of Global Marketing for Omni. "The 'Free the Penguins' initiative brings together three companies who are committed to affordable desktop computing."

"School districts often have thousands of computers. Each PC represents more of a liability than it does an asset. Desktop Multiplier frees them from 9/10ths of these hardware and maintenance costs, making it finally affordable to achieve 1-to-1 computing ratios in our schools. This free promotion lets every school district experience first hand the next generation in Desktop Virtualization that is already in use in over 3,000 school locations. In terms of environmental benefits, Userful's virtualization technology allows each 30-station computer lab or classroom to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 45 tons per year and electronic waste by as much as 80% as compared to using 30
traditional PCs."

"Novell is excited to collaborate with Omni Technology Solutions and Userful to deploy Linux desktops in schools," said Grant Ho, Senior Product Marketing Manager for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop at Novell. "As the best-engineered and most interoperable Linux desktop, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop allows schools to dramatically lower costs and strengthen security, while providing students with dozens of applications like and Firefox so they can become productive from the start. Education continues to be an important vertical for us, and we are pleased to work with our channel partners to provide a cost-effective, all-in-one desktop solution that enhances classroom learning and provides students with 21st century technology skills."

Education institutions are invited to contact Omni for their free licences at +1.780.423.4200 or Computer labs must be deployed by November 30, 2008. More details on the promotion are available at:


  • Limit of one free 30-station Desktop Multiplier licence per university, college or school district.
  • First 30 customers will receive a free 30-user subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.
  • Hardware not included. Contact Omni for hardware bundle options.
  • Systems must be deployed and licences retrieved by November 30, 2008.
  • Offer available only to new customers.
  • Offer available exclusively to non-profit educational institutions (i.e., PCs must be used inside the school and must be made available without charge to the students.)
  • You agree to participate in a success story.
  • You authorise Omni, Userful and Novell to use your name in marketing materials and agree to have your success story published in various media.
  • Omni has sole discretion in determining whether an application satisfies the promotion criteria.



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