>
> *LISBON--Microsoft launched on Friday a software package for a Portuguese
> ultra-cheap laptop for school children that the government hopes will boost
> the country's technological edge in education.*
>
> Portugal started rolling out the "Magellan" computer at schools last month.
> It aims to hand out a total 500,000 of the laptops, which cost just 50 euros
> ($69.29) for school children, at home and export it to countries in Latin
> America and Africa.
>
> Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the software package called 'Suite
> Magellan' to go with the laptops, which will include Windows XP and Office
> in addition to development applications, free email and instant messaging.
>
> "This is a unique, amazing and wonderful program on a global scale,"
> Ballmer said at the presentation. "It's a great example to show how the
> private and public sectors can work together to create new opportunities."
>
> Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates has made boosting poor
> education standards and technology at schools a priority of his government.
>
> "We all know that one of the fundamental keys for the country to progress
> lies in technology," he said. "We all know that the presence of computers in
> schools boosts education."
>
> The government hopes the Magellan project, named after the 16th century
> Portuguese explorer, will raise computer access at schools to two students
> per computer by 2010, up from five now.
>
> Portugal has developed a fledgling software industry in the past few years
> and in June Microsoft bought Portuguese mobile software company MobiComp.
>
> Ballmer said the Magellan project could help create a platform for the
> computer industry development in Portugal.
>
> "This is an important step forward for Portugal's high-tech industry,"
> Ballmer said.
>
> While the computer will be assembled in Portugal by a company called JP Sa
> Couto, it is based on Intel's Classmate PC, a cheap computer that has been
> adopted in various formats in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia.
>
> Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed an agreement to buy 1 million
> Magellan laptops for Venezuelan schools. The computers also went on public
> sale in Portugal last week for 285 euros.
>
http://news.zdnet.com/2424-9595_22-239053.html

-- 
Vítor Baptista
Ciência da Computação - UFPB
Laboratório de Aplicações de Vídeo Digital - LAViD
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