IT firm eyes $1b revenues
A SMALL Sunshine Coast company which first caught the eye of global software giant Microsoft five years ago is on the cusp of delivering a very rich future on that early promise.
ThinLinX may appear a minnow swimming in the big pool, but with a potential customer base of 500 million for its software that can keep ageing XP systems operating after Microsoft withdraws its technical support on April 8, it is very much a company on the up.
The $30 virus-free secure operating system brings new life to computers that were on the verge of being obsolete.
The software package allows computers to run Windows 7, Windows 8 or Linux via either onsite or cloud data centres.
The small team that works from offices in Mooloolaba and Silicon Valley in California has gained a foothold in competition with the globe's largest IT companies because of its focus, capacity to respond quickly to customer needs and its quality of the engineers and designers.
ThinLinX was started in 2003 by former commercial pilot John Nicholls and his wife, former model Jeanne Moloney-Nicholls, who sold their home to provide seed capital before attracting "angel" investors among family and friends.
In the next few months, it will launch its TLX1000 and TLX2000 new-generation cost-effective alternatives to standard PCs.
The one and two-screen models, which sell for $150 and $250 with GST, are being trialled with some of the world's biggest companies - all of whom, like Microsoft, found their way to ThinLinX's door.
The units provide the same look and feel as a standard computer using only a fraction of the power, and purchase and maintenance costs.
The potential has attracted the interest of one of the Sunshine Coast's wealthiest businessmen, Mal Pratt, who has invested to help ThinLinX's rise to the next level.
Global hardware manufacturer Flextronics has isolated ThinLinX as a company with high potential and is providing support.
Mr Nicholls, who taught himself programming during downtime as a junior pilot, says he always had a big-picture vision of where the computer age would take us.
He says he always had an understanding that computing would shift to small units connected to remote servers.
Mr Nicholls says revenues of $1billion is not beyond reach.