June 27, 2007 12:12 PM PDT

Microsoft launches new low-cost PC effort in India

Microsoft has launched another low-cost PC effort in India, this time partnering with chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices in an effort to get more computers into the hands of students.

Beginning next month, Microsoft and its partners plan to start selling the IQ PC through computer retailers, bookshops and other stores in Bangalore and Pune, with plans to sell it throughout the country by November. The company expects the machines to start selling for 21,000 Indian rupees ($513), though it hopes to bring those prices down over time.

The computers are aimed at students from kindergarten to 12th grade, and the IQ PC will be built on AMD-developed hardware made by Zenith Computers. The PCs are set to include Microsoft's Windows Vista Basic, Works and Student 2007, as well as third-party software, including exam preparation, homework help and English-language learning programs. Microsoft also announced a test version of an online MSN IQ Education Channel.

"India faces a serious challenge in providing quality education, a critical factor in ensuring that children begin with a fair level of opportunity," Microsoft Senior Vice President Orlando Ayala said in a blog posting from India, where he kicked off the effort with the head of Microsoft India. "If applied correctly, technology holds great potential to meet this challenge."

In April, Microsoft set a goal of getting PCs into the hands of the next billion people by 2015, though the company's chairman, Bill Gates, has expressed hope that the goal can be reached significantly sooner. At the time, the company announced a program through which it will sell a bundle of Windows and Office for $3, but only for programs in which governments agree to pick up at least half the tab for PCs that will be owned by individuals.

The IQ PC comes on top of that program, as well as existing low-cost PC efforts in India, including Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition, a version of Windows that is sold on new PCs in emerging markets. In January, Microsoft also announced a Starter version of Windows Vista.

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15 comments

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Set your target so high that you can't fail
$513? Are they joking? Americans can get pc's with monitors, keyboards, and software for up to $150 less that that at any Walmart. I guess you can't fail if you start from such inflated assumptions that you can't fail to hit your target...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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Is that supposed to be cheap?
I can go to Dell and get a laptop for less than that (I think $489 last I checked). A desktop for much less. Also was at best buy and office depot yesterday and saw laptops at each store for $399.

Don't do them any favors Microsoft. It would be cheaper to buy the laptops from best buy and ship them over to India.
Posted by raulmot (72 comments )
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Re is that supposed to be cheap
I agree, AT $ 500 it is damn expensive PC. Not sure of the configuration but I am assuming git will have something like AMD Duron 512kb FSB, with 256 MB DRAM, CDRW-DVD combo drive, 40 GB HDD, Ethernet card/Modem combo and what about monitor, Keyboard and Mice?

The import duty both on components and ready made PCs in India is 16%. VAT is 4% for local purchases, thus making anything more expensive by 25% (need to include shipping and distribution costs as well) to the prices in USA.

We have bought locally assembled PCs with similar configuration for INR 17,000 (USD 375)loaded with Fedora Linux, and bought refurbished 17" CRT monitor for about INR 3000 to g woth it.

So even by high tariff and inefficient distribution costs, people can still get a good deal on Non Microsoft PC for under $ 500.

How is this supposed to be a bargain? This product is bound to be a failure like many others at Microsoft (Zune, xBox, WebTV, etc.)
Posted by atish505 (288 comments )
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Re is that supposed to be cheap
I agree, AT $ 500 it is damn expensive PC. Not sure of the configuration but I am assuming git will have something like AMD Duron 512kb FSB, with 256 MB DRAM, CDRW-DVD combo drive, 40 GB HDD, Ethernet card/Modem combo and what about monitor, Keyboard and Mice?

The import duty both on components and ready made PCs in India is 16%. VAT is 4% for local purchases, thus making anything more expensive by 25% (need to include shipping and distribution costs as well) to the prices in USA.

We have bought locally assembled PCs with similar configuration for INR 17,000 (USD 375)loaded with Fedora Linux, and bought refurbished 17" CRT monitor for about INR 3000 to go with it.

So even by high tariff and inefficient distribution costs, people can still get a good deal on Non Microsoft PC for under $ 500.

How is this supposed to be a bargain? This product is bound to be a failure like many others at Microsoft (Zune, xBox, WebTV, etc.)
Posted by atish505 (288 comments )
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Well to do country...
They must be doing well in India with all the new US Off-Shored jobs to consider a $500 computer "low cost"...
Posted by gkflyboy (21 comments )
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Ha! Guess the gotta sell Vista to somebody...
What a joke! As previously noted, I see ads for low end PC's at local retailers every Sunday for around $350- sometimes complete with monitor and printer.

This is just another M$ scheme to push that crappy Vista.
Posted by hounddoglgs (74 comments )
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Learn to Read
Wow, you really read the whole article, it isn't even going to have vista on it, rather a version of XP.
Posted by Maxplayer14 (1 comment )
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if you don't know then better to shut up..
..PC are in general more expensive in India because of customs and stuff. Read the artical MS is selling Windows and Office for a token 3$, that might not even cover its cost for running this program. I am sure if you some day see MS save a drowning guy you would say "MS saves a drowning guy to sell him Vista".
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
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cost of PC is India..
..cost of PC are in general are much higher in India because of cost customs. A pc that costs 500, with Windows and Office on it is pretty cheap. It's a different story that most in India tend to buy PCs without and OS and then use Pirated version of the OS and Office.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
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most?
Will you ever post something intelligent and with data to back it up?

Probably not, MS fans are all the same: stupid.

This is a scam. End of story.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
Now don't you feel ripped off again!!!
Here in the United States where the middle class is fast decaying giving way to a rich and poor only, we again see where someone other then us reaps the benifits of not being an Americian.
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
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How about...
A low-cost PC for the US, for the out-of-work programmers?
Posted by count0--2008 (38 comments )
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