Raspberry Pi could bring 'cheap' Windows to companies

Summary:A Raspberry Pi enthusiast has managed to get Windows 7 on the cheap Linux computer using Citrix XenDesktop, a sign that the device could bring savings to businesses, according to the foundation behind the device.A video posted to YouTube shows a recently shipped Raspberry Pi running a Windows 7 virtual desktop, using Citrix XenDesktop 5.

A Raspberry Pi enthusiast has managed to get Windows 7 on the cheap Linux computer using Citrix XenDesktop, a sign that the device could bring savings to businesses, according to the foundation behind the device.

A video posted to YouTube shows a recently shipped Raspberry Pi running a Windows 7 virtual desktop, using Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 on a VMware ESXi 5 hypervisor, according to the poster, 'VirtualBigBANGtheory'.

The credit card-sized computer was running the Debian Squeeze (version 6.0) OS and had Citrix Receiver and the Iceweasel browser preloaded, the poster noted.

The approach could allow firms that have to use Windows for legacy reasons to use the £30 Raspberry Pi, which itself cannot run the Microsoft operating system, according to Raspberry Pi Foundation spokeswoman Liz Upton.

"Run a bunch of instances of Windows on your server, push the displays out to many Raspberry Pis, and you've got a cheap way of getting Windows onto desks at work, without having to fork out for a full-cost PC," Upton wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

"We're beginning to understand that there are ways to lower the cost of ownership using a Raspberry Pi even for businesses which aren't prepared to switch over entirely to open-source software — neat, isn't it?" she added.

Originally designed as a cheap device for teaching schoolchildren to program, the Cambridge-developed Raspberry Pi has become popular among tech hobbyists. Many of those lucky enough to have bought the small, uncased computer — one waiting list has run to 250,000 — have been experimenting with it in projects from a retro-fit for the ZX Spectrum to a smart home energy monitor.

Here is the YouTube video of the Raspberry Pi with virtual Windows 7:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U6ki1ryqQY

Topics: Tech Industry

About

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She has been in journalism since the last century, starting out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at ZDNet.com. Next came a move to CNET News.com, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, specialising in... Full Bio

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