The collection of software, which will start shipping in the second half of this year, includes Windows XP Starter Edition, Office Home and Student 2007, Windows Live Mail Desktop and several educational products. The $3 price includes the software license, while backup discs and documentation will cost extra. In order to be eligible, governments must pick up at least half the tab for the PC, though the software can also be used on refurbished computers, which can cost as little as $50, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is hoping this program and others will help the company reach more of the 5 billion people who have yet to benefit from the PC revolution.
Now I hate to be a cynic on a worthwhile cause, but there's also this little thing called the One Laptop Per Child initiative with the same goal (gallery right). The rub: OLPC is putting Linux software in the hands of students in emerging markets.