Microsoft Launches Educational PC In India
Friday, June 29, 2007
Microsoft has teamed up with Advanced Micro Devices and India?s Zenith Computers to launch a personal computer aimed at Indian students for 21,000 rupees ($513).
The IQ PC will run on AMD Athlon processors and have education software from both Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ) and local partners. It will initially be sold in the cities of Bangalore in the south and Pune in the west for three months starting from Saturday, followed by a nationwide rollout in November.
While far from cheap by Indian ? or even U.S. ? standards, the computer will include Microsoft?s Windows Vista Basic version, the MS Office suite and educational programs. That may arguably make it more feature-rich than the $150 laptop that the One Laptop Per Child initiative is attempting to mass produce for children in emerging countries. (See: ” The $100 Computer“)
?The current growth of IT penetration in India might be rapid, but it is not rapid enough. Affordability is critical and goes far beyond low-cost hardware,? Microsoft India Chairman Ravi Venkatesan told reporters in New Delhi at a conference to announce the launch.
A report from industry tracking company IDC this month said India has an installed PC base of 22 million, or one computer for every 50 people.
?Quality of Indian education still faces many challenges and the biggest of them all is to make [information communication technology] available to the millions at the bottom of the pyramid,? said Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of emerging segments market development at Microsoft.
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