Microsoft Corp. is targeting Africa with a lower-priced operating system, a Windows "Starter Edition" that will work on cheaper machines and have Africa-themed screensavers and background wallpaper among its features.
Microsoft said Thursday its Windows XP Starter Edition for Africa is scheduled to hit African shelves in July, although it didn't say how many units will be shipped or what the price range will be.
The Microsoft system "operates on lower-cost personal computing hardware" and "is designed for entry-level PC users in Africa -- with extended help and assistance functions for first-time users, and locally relevant screensavers and wallpapers," the Redmond, Washington-based company said in a statement released in Nigeria.
Similar products are already available in 83 countries from Latin America to Asia, the company said.
Few among Africa's 900 million people have the means to afford computers and many of the Africans who do compute use castoff machines shipped from richer countries.
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