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Industry Desktop virtualization
Founded August 2004
Number of locations
Key people
Sachin Dev Duggal
Saurabh Dhoot

Nivio was a company marketing desktop virtualization services that allow a customer to use computer application software without a personal computer.


Sachin Dev Duggal and Saurabh Pradeep Dhoot founded nivio in 2004.[1] The two founders had met as students at Imperial College London in 2000. Initial funding came from two executives at Deutsche Bank, where Duggal worked at the time; he claimed the idea came in 20 minutes before a presentation.[2] Headquarters were in Switzerland, with a development center in Gurgaon.[3] Nvivo announced a test of its first online Windows XP-based desktop service in 2007.[4] Early reviews were mixed, noting that high data-rate continuous connections were needed for good response times, and existing products from companies such as Citrix Systems.[5]

Advanced Micro Devices announced an investment of undisclosed value in August 2007.[6] Several patents related to the technology are assigned to SMX iNet Global Services SA, of which nivio was a subsidiary.[5][7][8][9] December 2008, nivio was named a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum for its affordable computing access.[10][11]

Nivio announced the nivio Companion in June 2009,[12] with Bharti Airtel Limited of India as Internet service provider. Companion was a low-cost product including keyboard, mouse and a set-top-box style terminal. With a monthly service charge the user gets Internet access, Microsoft Office 2007 functionality and 10 GBytes of storage. One motivation given was rampant software piracy in India.[13] The Indian media had reported on the company and its young founders since 2007.[14][15][16]

Duggal speaking at the World Economic Forum in 2009

In January 2010, Duggal promoted cloud computing at the World Economic Forum at Davos.[17] In February 2010 nivio announced operations in Australia, hosted by NEC at the Polaris Data Centre in Springfield, Queensland.[18] By July 2010, the company estimated about US$5 million in revenues, but had not been profitable. The earlier nivio Companion product was called only a "test".[19] By November 2010, Duggal and Dhoot claimed their goal had been education.[20]

In 2012 nivio was reported as about to announce devices called Cloudbook and CloudPC to provide access to its services.[21] Although the US Patent and Trademark Office shows a Cloudbook trademark with an application date of December 2009 to nHoldings doing business as "nivio",[22] a product from Everex had been marketed as a CloudBook around 2008.[23] The registration for nHoldings SA gives a location in Mont-sur-Lausanne, formerly using the name SMX iNet Global Services SA.[24]

The Microsoft Remote Desktop Services technology allowed nivio to be officially licensed through a service provider license agreement to use the Remote Desktop Protocol.[25] This contrasts with other services such as OnLive Desktop and truCloud, which have licensing terms that have raised questions in the press.[26][27] The approach was also contrasted with the official support of Microsoft Office for the iPad.[28]

Videocon and AEC Partners invested US$21 million in the company in February 2012.[29][30] Co-founder Dhoot was a nephew of Videocon's chairman Venugopal Dhoot.[29] Offices were opened in Palo Alto, California, in Silicon Valley, as well as New Delhi. In April 2012, nivio announced an application to use Microsoft Office files stored in Google Drive.[31] The product received mixed reviews, since all products were still in "by-invitation beta" testing stages, and judged not easy to use.[32][33][34] Kate Russell of the BBC reported on the company's products in August 2012.[35] Near the end of 2012, Duggal stepped down from operational roles at nivio, and Frank Houghton became the chief operating officer, as the company announced it would provide services to businesses.[36] Stuart Collingwood was president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.[37]

As of 2014 the company appears to be gone; the Web site is shut down and its Twitter feed is dormant since 2013.


  1. ^ "Sachin Dev Duggal, 28: Moving desktop computer into the cloud". Technology Review 35 Innovators under 35. MIT. 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  2. ^ B D Narayankar (7 October 2008). "Duggal: Making travel light with virtual desktop". Merinews. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Sachin Duggal as told to Shubhobroto Ghosh (5 February 2008). "How I Made It". Telegraph India. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Matt Chapman (9 May 2007). "Nivio tests virtual Windows desktop". itnews for Australian Business. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Bryan Betts (7 May 2007). "Nivio betas hosted Windows: A virtual PC plus apps for £8 a month". The Register. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Kelly Fiveash (29 August 2007). "AMD coughs up wad of cash for virtual desktop project: Finances Nivio R&D". The Register. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Sachin Duggal (5 February 2008). "Streaming a virtual desktop containing several applications for remote display to an authenticated user of a client device". Patent WO 2009001221 A3. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Sachin Duggal (21 May 2012). "Providing a user with virtual computing services". US Patent 20120297311 A1. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Sachin Duggal (21 May 2012). "Providing a local device with computing services from a remote host". US Patent 20120303763 A1. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "List of Technology Pioneers 2009". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Nivio Awarded WEF's Technology Pioneer for 2009". CXO Today. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Review: Nivio Companion can do your heavy lifting". Telegraph. UK. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  13. ^ S Kalyana Ramanathan (3 November 2009). "Online MS Office for Rs 120 a month!". Business Standard. London. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Airtel, nivio & Microsoft team up for Online PC". India Business NextBigWhat. 17 February 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009. 
  15. ^ Sachin Duggal, Nivio on Young Turks Innovators, CNBC TV 18 on YouTube 3 November 2009
  16. ^ Vishnu Mohan (14 September 2007). "World's first Windows-based online desktop 'Nivio' launched". Merinews. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  17. ^ ""If you trust banks, trust the cloud...your data is safe!" says Sachin Dev Duggal". Press release. India PRwire. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "NEC to host Nivio Windows services". itnews for Australian Business. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  19. ^ Anika Gupta (8 July 2010). "On cloud nine". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  20. ^ Amit Ranjan Rai (1 November 2010). "Nivio: PC on the cloud". Business Standard. New Delhi. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  21. ^ B Krishna Mohan (9 February 2012). "Nivio to launch Cloudbook, CloudPC for $100 and $50". Financial Chronicle. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "CLOUDBOOK". Trademark Status and Document Retrieval. US Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Think CloudBook MAX". Everex. Archived from the original on 4 April 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "nHoldings SA". MoneyHouse, Switzerland. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  25. ^ Kevin McLaughlin (13 March 2012). "Microsoft Partners Want Simpler VDI Licensing In Windows 8". CRN. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  26. ^ Jon Brodkin (8 March 2012). "Microsoft: OnLive's Windows-on-iPad service violates license". Ars Technica. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  27. ^ Jon Brodkin (20 March 2012). "TuCloud CEO Dares Microsoft to Sue Over Virtual Desktops". Wired insights (from Ars Technica). Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Christina Bonnington (22 February 2012). "Microsoft Office for iPad: Why You'll Need It, How You'll Use It". Wired Gadget Lab. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Peerzada Abrar (10 February 2012). "Videocon, AEC Partners to invest $21 m in cloud computing start-up Nivio". The Economic Times. India. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  30. ^ "Nivio Gets $21M, Expands in Palo Alto". Silicon Tap. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "nivio launches app to access files stored on Google cloud". The Economic Times. India. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  32. ^ Yardena Arar (12 April 2012). "First Look: Nivio Cloud Software Service Is Promising, but Overly Complicated". Computer World. This beta service is too difficult to get up and running, but it's capable of bringing many different kinds of apps to your tablet.... Nivio is still in by-invitation beta, ... 
  33. ^ James Kendrick (12 April 2012). "nivio: Windows access (with app rentals) on iPad, Android (review)". ZDNet. Retrieved 30 July 2013. It is clear the nivio service is still in beta as not everything works smoothly. 
  34. ^ James A. Martin (18 June 2012). "Nivio Awkwardly Brings Office Apps to Android, iOS". CIO blog. Retrieved 11 August 2013. ... But the service is complicated and frustrating. 
  35. ^ Kate Russell (17 August 2012). "Webscape: Your desktop in the cloud". BBC. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  36. ^ "Nivio all-in-one business platform revolutionizes IT for SMBs". Company blog. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  37. ^ Jane McCallion (28 January 2013). "Nivio brings virtual Windows desktop to any device". CloudPro. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 

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