Mumbai: Intel India and Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. have announced ajoint initiative to make their products available to beginners at an affordable cost. The two IT companies announced their initiative, called the 'affordability alliance' under which they will innovate to create affordable computing solutions, and will ensure easy and wider availability of affordable PCs across the country by driving synergies in sales and marketing across diverse customer segments. |
The two companies say that they have identified the following levers for the growth of affordable computing - innovative financing for complete computing solutions including telecom connectivity and greater access through market segmentation.
Intel and Microsoft will work with banking institutions to develop innovative financing options to simplify the entire financing process. To increase the desirability and access of these PCs across segments, the alliance will focus on tailored solutions for specific segments.
For example, first time PC users will be able to purchase Intel- , Celeron- or Pentium-based PCs with the Windows XP Starter edition Edition at easy instalment facilities, and students and teachers will be able to buy an Education PC with specialised content from education service providers.
Both companies say that they are also in discussions with telecom service providers to integrate telecom services and broadband access into these solutions to maximise impact.
Four specific customer segments have been identified initially for providing holistic solutions, and to facilitate easier access for consumers. These include; employees of large corporations, the education community, government employees and shared access providers, namely internet cafés. For this, the alliance partners will enter into relationships with select entities in these segments and work out specialised offerings and innovative purchase options.
The two companies will also align their OEM engagements, reseller and solution provider networks to increase the reach of these affordable PCs and will undertake joint marketing promotion programs across the country including a 70 city road show for the same.
Speaking at the announcement, John McClure, managing director, sales and marketing, Intel (South Asia) said, "Today's announcement by Intel and Microsoft is in line with the national objectives set in the national common minimum programme (NCMP) of the government and the 10-point agenda that IT minister Dayanidhi Maran has outlined. Intel and Microsoft, being key drivers of the industry are coming together to drive government's agenda to take the PC installed base to 12-13 million by 2010. We strongly believe that this alliance will give impetus to our efforts to make computing affordable and thereby increase PC penetration in the country."
Reiterating the commitment, Neelam Dhawan, managing director, Microsoft India said, "Enabling India to bridge the digital divide is a Microsoft imperative and strategic to our mission in the country.