Splashtop today is releasing remote desktop Streamer software for Ubuntu Linux. We've been following this company (aka DeviceVM) for a few years and are excited about its evolution and what it's bringing to Linux users. We share here a Q&A we were able to do with Splashtop CEO Mark Lee about today's news. It includes a sneak preview for Linux users of what's coming next.
Congratulations on today's launch of Splashtop remote desktop Streamer software for Ubuntu Linux. What does this release mean for Linux users?
Lee: First, Linux users will now have a high-performance remote access solution that’s 10X faster than traditional VNC. Splashtop is known for supporting a high video frame rate and low latency – up to 30 frames per second, and under 30 milliseconds – so the user gets a truly amazing experience when viewing high definition video and even playing interactive games. Second, the Splashtop protocol is highly optimized for WAN where the streaming bit rate is dynamically adjusted based on available bandwidth, so anywhere you go you can enjoy the best possible experience while remotely accessing your Linux computer. Third, Splashtop seamlessly traverses the firewall using the SSL security protocol; there is no need for port forwarding or SSH tunneling. Finally, Splashtop offers a consistent remote access app across Android, iOS, Windows and Mac devices.
Linux gamers should enjoy many benefits from this release. Given the latest moves from Valve and the maturing Linux desktop, what's your forecast for Linux gaming and how can Splashtop have an impact here?
Lee: We are excited to see Valve’s Linux support. With Splashtop, Linux gamers can now redirect their favorite Valve games to their mobile devices anywhere they go. Soon, we will also redirect games to TVs as cross-screen redirection is where Splashtop is heading. Splashtop’s success is largely driven from its unique performance advantage, so we invest in optimizing for the latest hardware. In the process, we push all major silicon vendors to have robust, best-in-class Linux support.
We are very excited about the future of Linux gaming, especially around Android. Android is built on Linux, and more and more GPU cores are being added into mobile chips at an unprecedented pace. The projection is that within a few years, mobile chips will deliver a better gaming experience than game consoles. In 2013, Splashtop will be able to redirect Android gaming to TV screens – part of Splashtop’s any-screen to any-screen, cross-device computing push.
Can you tell us more about your partnership with Ubuntu, especially as it relates to today's announcement?
Lee: Many Ubuntu users have contacted us asking for a Linux version of Splashtop Streamer. We are excited to bring Splashtop Streamer support to millions of Ubuntu users now, via the Ubuntu Software Center. Besides Ubuntu Desktop users, Splashtop is optimized and ready for Ubuntu Servers, as well the Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure. Splashtop becomes a powerful alternative to VNC, delivering high performance remote access for users, remote management for IT, and remote app and data delivery for service providers.
The Linux desktop is an interesting discussion topic that varies based on how the desktop is defined. How does Splashtop define today's desktop and how is that impacting the larger PC market?
Lee: The role of the “desktop” has continued to evolve quickly in the past few years.
Six years ago, Splashtop (aka DeviceVM) invented an instant-on HTML5 Linux OS that boots up in less than 5 seconds. Splashtop’s instant-on OS has shipped on over 100 million PCs from HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony, Asus, Acer, and others. Effectively, Splashtop’s instant-on Linux-based browser OS has become the largest Linux distribution, and millions of users have been using the instant-on browser OS without knowing it’s Linux underneath.
Three years ago, with the emergence of smartphones and tablets, we realized that the “desktop” was also becoming a “server.” Users want to go everywhere with their mobile devices and want to have access to all their favorite apps and data on their computers. Splashtop turns every desktop into a personal cloud, delivering applications and data to any device, anytime, anywhere. With Splashtop, people are effectively carrying their desktops in their pocket. Splashtop now has over 11 million mobile users accessing their desktops as their own personal clouds today, and now we are excited to turn the Ubuntu desktop into a personal cloud as well.
We believe the future “desktop” is closely integrated with the cloud. Users shouldn’t really care what device they are using, and yet have full access to all types of apps, content, and data, anytime, anywhere. The user experience metaphor could be desktop-centric, app-centric, data-centric, search-centric, or others. Splashtop is positioning itself to be the leader in cross-device computing, bridging across PCs, mobile devices, TVs, and the cloud.
What's next for Splashtop as we look ahead to a new year?
Lee: Splashtop is always innovating and delivering value and excitement to our users, both individual consumers and businesses. Tens of millions of mobile users are enjoying Splashtop, and they are now taking Splashtop into the workplace. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is accelerating, and businesses want to mobilize their workforce. Splashtop for Business is the fastest, simplest, and most secure way to “tabletize” businesses. As we head into a new year, our goal is to bring more and more exciting capabilities and value to consumers and businesses, enabling them to take advantage of mobility and the cloud.
In connection with your current product release, I hear that you have a treat to share with us today…
Lee: Yes, I’d like to give Linux fans a sneak preview of an upcoming Splashtop 1-to-many streaming technology that enables a Linux PC to stream 10+ concurrent Ubuntu desktop sessions to mobile devices. Check out this video for your preview.