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IT News Thread, Dell's "Project Ophelia": a $50 Android-based thin client that connects to the cloud in Other News; ...
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    Dell's "Project Ophelia": a $50 Android-based thin client that connects to the cloud

    It's even cheaper than a Chromebook!

    Source: Dell (via Ars Technica)

    Dell is reportedly investigating a move to take the company private in a leveraged buy-out to clear the decks for a radical repositioning of the company. And according to a report from Atlantic Media's Quartz, that includes relaunching Dell's desktop and mobile business around a brand-new product: a computing device the size of a thumb-drive that will sell for about $50.

    Dell announced its pocket client PC, called "project Ophelia," on January 8, and demonstrated it at CES. Developed by Dell's Wyse unit, Ophelia uses a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) to draw power to boot from an HDTV display, or it can be powered off a USB port. It has integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability for connecting to a keyboard, a mouse, and the network, and it runs the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system with all of the functionality of a tablet. It can also be used to power virtual instances of other desktop operating systems on a remote server or in the cloud.

    In other words, it's a fusion of Wyse's thin client technology modeled after the capabilities of a Google Chromebook—except it can be carried in a pocket. The main drawbacks are that few HDTVs currently support MHL—though such support can be found in a number of Dell flat-panel displays.

    Dell has been moving gradually away from its consumer PC roots for the past five years. The company's desktop and mobile computer business has suffered in the global PC-buying slump of the last year. Its consumer segment has been losing money, while the enterprise business outside of PC sales accounts for a majority of Dell's revenue. But the stock market has been punishing Dell as it has tried to shift focus. The company has lost 43 percent of its market capitalization over that time, despite continuing to be profitable and having an estimated $14.2 billion in cash (though most of that is in Dell's businesses overseas).

    It is unlikely that Dell will completely jettison its PC business overnight in favor of Ophelia, as Quartz's Christopher Mims suggests. But the device could be at the center of a change of Dell's consumer-facing business and maybe even a big part of its end-to-end enterprise business strategy.
    Key benefits of Project Ophelia:
    • Enables instant and secure access to your personal cloud, entertainment, work content and applications wherever there is an available capable display (using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse), including a wide variety of Dell flat-panel displays.
    • Integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth facilitates access and communication.
    • Built on the Android 4 OS to support Web browsing, social networking, media playback and Android Apps with a possibility to extend to other services.
    • Securely connects to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all leading infrastructure providers including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.
    • Flexibly powered zero-battery device gets power from the attached display monitor via its MHL interface to the monitor’s MHL port, or separately via its own USB interface. No batteries to charge or change.
    • Remembers settings for each individual to enhance usability.
    • Compatible with many existing Dell Wyse thin clients and software products.
    • Managed by Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service (SaaS) which can ensure the device is being used by the appropriate person with the right permissions and access to apps and content based on role, department, and location.

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    Project Ophelia is now called Dell Wyse Cloud Connect and will cost almost three times as much as originally planned.

    Dell's new Android HDMI dongle turns screens into virtualized desktop computers for $130 « Engadget

    It connects to any TV or display with an HDMI or MHL port, and hooks up to mice and keyboards via Bluetooth or mini-USB. There's also a microSD slot to give you up to 32GB of local storage, should you want it. Plus, you can access your desktop using yours or your company's choice of virtualization technologies: Citrix, Microsoft or VMWare. Once plugged in, users can access a full Jelly Bean Android experience or their Windows and Mac machines via the aforementioned remote clients, and see them in 1080p resolution (on compatible displays, of course). Dell's pitching the dongle as primarily an enterprise solution, but the company also thinks it's well-suited as an educational tool, too.

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