SRC can multiply the number of student workstations available at a much lower price point than individual desktops, laptops or netbooks. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is lowered by deploying fewer fully configured computers and by reduced workstation support liabilities.
Like other SRC products, the Windows MultiPoint Server offering is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Microsoft’s anticipated deployment is in classrooms, computer laboratories and libraries, and does not replace fully configured or mobile PCs. The ease of set-up and management capabilities are promising features for classrooms, labs and libraries.
Empowering teachers to manage (or customize) the classroom environment without needing or relying on technical assistance will likely facilitate tighter alignment of computing resources with instructional strategies.
Unlike other SRC products, MultiPoint Server solutions can be supported by Microsoft or its authorized partners and include system licensing for the host and satellite computers.
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School district CIOs:
Review the deployment of classroom computing resources now to see in which areas you might take advantage of SRC technologies. Keep in mind that this is a technology best suited for classrooms, laboratories and libraries where computers can be physically connected.
Prepare a TCO analysis of your current user workstation environment to both understand your current costs and to determine if you can make a business case for SRC technology. A TCO analysis provides good budgeting information regardless of a decision to deploy SRC technology.
Review software licensing arrangements to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions with respect to the potential for software sharing by multiple host computers.