Microsoft has given itself less than eight years to find another billion PC users. To help meet that goal, the company has pledged to sell $3 bundles of Windows XP and Office software to governments that provide schools with free computers. That’s about 2 percent of the cost of Office alone.
The Microsoft initiative was launched by Bill Gates in Beijing under the banner of its Unlimited Potential scheme, a program aimed at bridging the digital divide.
The scheme aims to bring the benefit of computing technology to the remaining five-sixths of the world’s population, who currently live without it.
“Bringing the benefits of technology to the next five billion people will require new products that meet the needs of underserved communities,” said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. One of the first products, that is hoped will reach the next billion people is the Microsoft’s student Innovation Suite.