Cheap computing for millions!, by Harichandan A A

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Novatium Solutions, a Chennai-based startup is building a $100 (Rs 4,300) computer using the “thin client” architecture. This, the company hopes, will take “computing to the next billion.”

In Bangalore, Encore Software is engaged in a similar experiment. Its SofComp is being promoted as a sub-Rs 10,000 mobile computer. Earlier, the company had developed the handheld Simputer with the help of professors from the Indian Institute of Science in the city.

SofComp combines affordability, computing ability and mobility, say Encore’s chairman Vinay Deshpande and vice president Shashank Garg. It works without a hard disk and uses the system-on-chip architecture.

Set up by Shishir B Purohit, Novatium, meanwhile, dreams of making low cost PCs widely available, an effort backed by Ashok Jhunjhunwala, the Indian Institute of Technology (Chennai) professor who took wireless telephony to villages. Its computer, based on “thin client” architecture can handle most routine office work such as e-mail, word processing, spread sheets, presentations, and Internet browsing.

Clearly, the fact that even “assembled” desktops are not affordable to most Indians is being seen as a huge business opportunity by an increasing number of people in the IT industry. Experts in the IT business believe that with some innovations, most popular features on the desktop can be delivered at much lower costs.
Story found here.