Microsoft has slashed prices on Windows XP and Office in Thailand, a move that could curb the spread of the Linux operating system in the country.
Microsoft last week announced plans to join the Thai government's "people's PC" project and said it would offer PC buyers in Thailand a combined Windows XP and Office suite for a mere $35.80 (1,490 baht), The Bangkok Post reported. Buyers can purchase a Windows- and Office-loaded desktop for $298, excluding taxes, the report said. In other parts of the world, a standard edition of the Office XP software alone costs $399.
"Microsoft has developed a specific Thai program with a unique product for this unique project," said Andrew McBean, Microsoft Thailand's managing director. The deal is for Thai consumers only and isn't available in other parts of Asia. However, McBean said the company is open to discussions with other Asian governments to "provide better access to technology for the disadvantaged." "Microsoft is investing in the development of a tailored and limited version of its Windows XP Home Edition product in Thai as well as offering its Office XP Standard Thai Edition software specifically for" the people's PC program, he said. Last month, Thailand's Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) ministry introduced a series of budget computers to increase computer literacy among the poor.
Government-subsidized models from local computer makers such as Belta, SVOA and Computec were launched at reduced prices between $256 and $458. The Bangkok Post earlier reported that Hewlett-Packard also was participating in the program, but HP Senior Vice President Alex Gruzen, who runs the company's notebook division, said the deal fell through and HP is not shipping Linux notebooks.
News source: C|net