On Thursday, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft announced that it will begin shipping a cheaper edition of its Windows operating system to people in Africa, which will function on low-end computers and include themes and wallpapers related to African settings, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.
Microsoft will ship the Windows XP Starter Edition for Africa in July, though details regarding pricing and the quantity of software being shipped are still unknown, according to the AP. The software will also feature “extended help and assistance functions for first-time users,” a company release read, according to the AP.
Zubby Opene, a Nigerian economist, told the AP, “It is a welcome move because it promises cheaper computers. But for a country like Nigeria where more than 70 percent [of citizens] live on less than a dollar a day, the new system may well be for the rich only.”
Only a handful of Africa’s 900 million inhabitants can afford computers, and many of those who can use older, used or even defective machines sent away from the United States or other more wealthy nations.
Microsoft already offers comparable software in more than 80 countries across the globe, including a number of areas in Latin America and Asia, according to the AP.
This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page. For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.
For related news coverage, read Gates to Donate Tech to Japanese Nonprofits and Microsoft to Dish Out $700M for Chinese PC Hardware.
Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.