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Aiming at India's volume PC market, two vendors this week launched
entry-level products that run Linux and are priced at about US$230.

Backing these initiatives is the country's minister for communications and
information technology, Dayanidhi Maran, whose aim is to increase PC
penetration in the country.

Currently, 15 million people in India own a PC and there are 5 million
Internet connections in the country, according to Maran. The aim of the
Indian government is to increase the number of people owning a PC to 75
million and the number of Internet connections to 45 million by 2010. To
achieve this objective, the country needs low-cost PCs, said Maran at a
launch Monday in Chennai, commenting on a $230 PC from HCL Infosystems Ltd.,
a large PC vendor in Noida, near Delhi.

Maran also noted that the Indian government will be setting up an
open-source center in Chennai to develop open-source software to get around
the high cost of proprietary software, Maran said.

"The response that the HCL PC is getting is phenomenal," said Ravi Pradhan,
country manager in India of Via Technologies Inc. in Taipei. At Indian
Rupees 9990, the cost of the new Linux PC from HCL breaks the Rupees 10,000
price barrier that is important to attract the mass market, Pradhan added.

HCL's $230 PC uses a processor from Via in Taipei, while Xenitis Infotech
Ltd. in Calcutta launched this week a PC priced also at about $230, which
runs Linux on a processor from Intel Corp.

In May, Encore Software Ltd. in Bangalore introduced three models of
Linux-based computers that retail at between $222 and $333 depending on the

Microsoft Corp. rolled out in India in June its Windows XP Starter Edition,
a low-cost, stripped-down version of Windows XP for emerging economies. But
some of Microsoft's partners, like HCL, are of the view that offering Linux
is the only way to arrive at the $230 price point.

By using Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition, it was not possible for HCL
to offer a PC at $230, said an HCL spokesman. "Linux is free, while the
Starter Edition has a price tag to it," he added. HCL also offers PCs that
run the Windows XP Starter Edition, as well as Linux PCs that run on Intel

"The Starter Edition has its limitations, such as the hardware configuration
that can be used and the number of applications that can be run at one
time," said Pradhan. "The competition at the entry level is between Linux
and a pirated version of the full version of Microsoft Windows."

By September, Via expects to introduce its Terra PC, a set of reference
designs for low-cost PCs, that will first be rolled out in India. HCL is one
of the licensees for these reference designs, based on Via's processors and
chip sets, that will enable vendors to offer PCs priced at about $230,
according to Pradhan.

The PCs will be offered with Linux, although they will be certified to also
run Windows, according to Pradhan. By adding the Windows operating system
and office suite from Microsoft, the price of the PCs will more than double,
he added.

Microsoft expects that product value will, in the final analysis, prevail.

"We are committed to helping India bridge the digital divide, and making our
offerings more affordable is a key initiative to this end," said a
spokeswoman for Microsoft India. "In creating low cost products, we need to
ensure that there is no compromise in the value they offer," she added. 

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf
Of Rocky Geddam
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: [tech4all] How HCL offers computer for RS.9990,if it is
possible for assembly systems?


--- purusothaman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

> How hcl offers a system for rs.9990 if any other brand is available 
> for similiar prices, can we assemble a computer for this price?
> - Purusothaman
> Too much spam in your inbox? Yahoo! Mail gives you the best spam 
> protection for FREE!

Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've
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