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Intel's rural PC project in pilot stage

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DQW Bureau
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Intel's rural, environment friendly projects-dust-resistant PC and the

one that can run on car batteries-have reportedly reached a critical stage,

with the pilot now live in places in India. Over the past year, Intel has

carried out extensive research in rural India; held talks with the govern-ment,

policy makers, and OEMs to understand what will trigger the adoption of PCs.

Based on this, it has defined a platform for rural India and subsequently

arrived at the solutions.

While people in villages have been buying PCs, there is no great penetration

to speak of. Availability of power is a genuine problem. Intel, it is known, is

now working with the OEMs and providing them with the solutions to productionize

these PCs. For the record, the world's largest chip maker has played a part in

all the sub-10,000 PCs launched in India so far, apart from the Mobilis by

Encore Software.

Intel had earlier announced localized platform solutions for China: a

learning PC, and a solution for Internet cafés in China and Brazil. But Intel

usually follows an approach, wherein its products can be re-used in other

markets, in their entirety or as subcomponents. Intel is reportedly evaluating

the relevance of these solutions to India. The home learning PC was created to

allow daily usage and allowing kids to learn the Chinese script. Therefore,

these programs will need further localization for a re-launch in India.

Goutam Das

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