Friday, October 29, 2004

A viable solution?

The past week I had written about the need for cheaper computing and Internet access devices for emerging and hugely potential markets like India. And when AMD launced its Personal Internet Communicator (PIC), Priced at $185 and $249 (the $249 would also fetch you a monitor), one can't but help get the feeling that it is a step in the right direction, involving the masses in the vision of bridging the digital divide, taking the powers of the Internet to one and all. But it is only a step. The cost is still too high- still too expensive of a computer to get into the hands of those that don't have one.

According to News.com,
The Personal Internet Communicator, or PIC as AMD calls it, will cost about $185 without a display. To reach that price, AMD selected several standard PC components, including one of its own Geode x86 processors, 128MB of Samsung RAM and a 10GB Seagate hard drive. The company also specifies a version of Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, fitted with Windows XP-extensions, allowing it to provide consumers with a graphical interface, e-mail, Web browsing, instant messaging and word processing. The PIC machines will also be able to play multimedia files and show PDF and PowerPoint files, AMD said.
This PIC from AMD certainly has whaty it takes to be a mass-market phenomenon. The market is huge, the opportunities aplenty. With applicatons like distance education, telemedicines beginning to catch the fancy of many including the Govenment and the availability of a reasonably costing device (reasonable compared to the existing. The cost is still too high) , the rural scape of the country can gain a lot. And yes, this is perhaps an ideal option for those who're going in for their second computer at home, and numerous self employed people earning their lives from the internet access nodes, aka cyber-cafes.

ComputerWeekly.com: AMD and VSNL to sell net communicator device in India
News.com: AMD offering blueprint for $185 PC

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