Low-Cost PCs for the Enterprise

Datamation writes about the various initiatives, including Novatium:

# Novatium Solutions Pvt. Ltd. of Chennai, India, is making the Nova NetPC 1000. Priced at under $100 (monitor not included) this thin client device connects to Windows, Unix and Linux servers. It uses the Linux operating system and Mozilla browser. It comes with keyboard, mouse and Webcam as standard equipment. Connection options include TCP/IP, Bluetooth, 802.11b, USB. 10/100 Ethernet and DSL.
# Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., is making the Personal Internet Communicator — AMD began selling this three-pound device last year through ISPs in the Caribbean and India. It uses the AMD Geode GX processor, integrated DDR memory, has a 10GB hard drive, four USB ports and an internal 56K modem. The system runs on the Windows CE operating system and comes with word processor, spreadsheet, email, messaging, browser and other applications preinstalled. Prices are set by the ISP, with Cable and Wireless selling it for $238 with a 15-inch monitor or $185 without.
# Encore Software Ltd. of Bangalore, India, has the Mobilis — Encore has created three versions of this computer, at a price from about $230 to $450. There are two mobile versions, one with a built-in keyboard, and both with 7-inch LCD touch screens for stylus input. One of them is wireless. There also is a desktop model called SofComp. All models run on Linux and have open source word processing, spreadsheet, scheduling, email and other applications.
# $100 Laptop Project — This project, started by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, has the goal of manufacturing hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi enabled Linux laptops for sale in bulk to education departments for distribution to students. He is working with the Brazilian and Chinese governments. AMD, Brightstar, Google, News Corp, and Red Hat are supporting the project. The specifications call for a 500MHz processor, 1GB of storage and a 1-megapixel display, with software scaled down to run on the system. Production is scheduled to begin in 2006.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.