Tom Foremski writes: “Wyse Technology, the leading thin-client manufacturer, told SVW that it is in talks with both Google and Yahoo, for the design and production of powerful low-priced computers integrating data, voice, and broadband connectivity.”
The growth of Internet users in developing countries could be dramatically accelerated if GOOG and YHOO were to subsidize the hardware and communications platform.
Similarly, Ebay and Amazon, could provide their trading platforms to massive new markets in the developing world.
Prices could be further reduced if the computers used Linux instead of Microsoft Windows to run a web browser-the only user interface required to access online services. And the use of Intel-compatible chips from AMD and others, could further reduce prices.
The internet rivals would be competing for hundreds of millions of new users within a hot demographic: the young middle classes forming in the developing world, primarily in India and China.
By making the PC and internet technology significantly more affordable, such moves would help bridge a massive digital divide: 84 percent of the world’s population has no Internet access.