In a move that is clearly aimed at the heart of Microsoft, IBM has teamed up with Canonical, SA Internet billionaire Mark Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu Linux company, to deliver open-source-based software into sub-Saharan Africa on low-cost computers.
IBM and Canonical have introduced a new software package for netbooks and other so-called “thin-client” devices to help businesses and public organisations on the continent “leapfrog traditional PCs and proprietary software”, the two companies said in a statement on Wednesday.
Netbooks are stripped-down, low-powered and low-cost laptops.
Part of IBM’s Smart Work Initiative, the new offering targets the rising popularity of low-cost netbooks to make IBM’s software affordable to new audiences in Africa, the companies said.
“Businesses that could not afford traditional PCs for all employees can now use any type of device and low-cost software to equip all workers with the ability to work smarter anywhere through a variety of devices regardless of the level of communications infrastructure,” the companies said.
The solution, which is available immediately, includes open standards-based e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, unified communication, social networking and other software to any laptop, netbook, or a variety of mobile devices.
It runs on the Ubuntu operating system, and provides the option to deliver collaboration through the Web in a “cloud service model”. IBM says the solutions delivers up to 50% savings per seat versus a Microsoft-based desktop.
“Starting with Africa, we see that [this]… can help realise our vision of eliminating barriers to computer access for emerging markets,” said Shuttleworth. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
- Image credit: Stopped