Intel develops PC for developing countries

Intel has launched its ‘Discover the PC’ campaign, with platforms and partnerships to bring affordable computing to developing countries.

Intel already has initiatives within education and local technology industries in a bid to encourage broad adoption of technology. Now the chip giant is launching a low cost desktop platform that will be distributed through government agencies and telecommunications companies to people who would not ordinarily be able to own one. The distributors will be key to ensuring that recipients have Internet access says Intel.

The launch starts in Mexico, and will be expanded to Brazil, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria, with other countries being added later in the year.

The PC is described by the company as a ‘fully-featured, high-quality, low-cost desktop PC’ with an ‘easy-to-use interface’.

Earlier in the week, Intel launched its Community PC into the India market. This was developed under the notion that a single PC would be used by many individuals, possibly having to withstand heat, dust and humidity, as well as unreliable power sources. The computer offers remote diagnostic and control abilities, even under extremely low power, as well as one-button recovery in the event of a system failure.

The Community PC will be deployed in kiosks in villages throughout India, giving the local population access to the Internet and services such as making claims through government forms.

Intel says it is also working on a laptop for use in the educational sector as its next step in the ‘Discover the PC’ campaign.

‘Intel has long been working with local governments and organizations in developing countries to bring the benefits of personal computing to homes, schools and businesses,’ said Mark Beckford, general manager, Emerging Markets Platforms Group. ‘With Intel’s focus on enabling the local PC industry infrastructure with tailored products, investments and partnerships, we believe we have been able to make a real difference in people’s lives. The purpose of the Discover the PC initiative is to bring personal computing to citizens in developing countries that currently can’t access or afford a personal computer.’

It would be cynical to suggest that the initiative will also benefit Intel in forging relationships between it and the governments and powerful infrastructure companies in these developing countries. Yet, these territories are certainly where the growth in PC sales lies. The current darling is the BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and China, where tech companies are competing for market share. Intel is wisely looking ahead to the next era of colonisation.

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