Friday, January 20, 2006

What's Microsoft Brasil Doing?

As I'll Get You Gadget's Brazil correspondent I feel I should fill you in on what Microsoft are doing in Brazil. As reported by Engadget, Microsoft are selling PCs, prepaid style in Brazil. In fact a service that was tested in August saw 1,000 systems sold in 3 days at a price of 25x R$29.99. So why have Microsoft moved into selling complete systems in Brazil?

Beginning in November the Brazilian government launched a programme called "PC para Todos" (PC for All) which allows a low paid citizen to purchase a PC upto the value of R$1400 from a chain of selected stores. Now here comes the interesting part; These low-cost PCs come with Linux and 27 other free apps. The government plan to sell upward of 1 million of these units. Considering that 68% of Brazil's 180m population have never used a PC and only 13.8% use a PC daily it's no surprise that the Brazilian government is keen to get PCs into more Brazilian homes.

This is where Microsoft come in. They aren't keen on losing their piece of this rather large pie. The Microsoft PC will come bundled with a scaled down version of XP and will be paid for monthly until the full value is reached, a common practise in Brazil where interest rates are upward of 14% per month!

Personally I'd love to see Brazil adopt Linux as the OS of choice. I can't see the average Ze Brasiliero (Joe Brazil) being able to afford a Mac which would be the most ideal PC for a Brazilian in my view. So why isn't Windows ideal for Brazilians? Simply put: Viruses & Spyware. The baine of all Windows users. Yet the problem is compounded by the fact that Brazilians in general don't speak English (the language of the support forums and spyware removal tools), don't like to spend a lot of time keeping systems up to date and generally don't have a lot of access to good PC support if things go badly wrong. Pretty much every PC I've every used in Brazil is badly overloaded with spyware and viruses. An OS that removes some of those problems must be a good thing.

I'll be keeping an eye on how things progress.

Leia mais:
"PC para Todos" tem vendas acima do esperado - Terra


At 9:15 pm, Blogger James said...

Wow, this is pretty major news, no? You should Digg this.


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