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AMD, Radio Shack Selling Low-Cost PC

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AMD’s inexpensive computer was meant for developing countries, but will now be offered in the US as well.

The Personal Internet Communicator will sell for $299 at Radio Shack, under the brand name of Presidian, Red Herring reported. AMD hadn’t planned to offer it within the U.S., but decided to approach Radio Shack about marketing it here.

That deal was accomplished in six weeks, and the device will go on sale on October 2nd. Radio Shack seems to have built a bit of a premium into the price.

SoftMaker, which provides the TextMaker and PlanMaker software for the PIC, noted in November 2004 that the device would sell for $185. The PIC does not come with a monitor, but does include a mouse and keyboard.

On board will be a limited version of the Microsoft Windows CE operating system; hardware includes an AMD processor, a Seagate hard drive, and Samsung memory. Click for a picture of the device.

Applications on the device include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Media Player, and PowerPoint, Macromedia Flash Player, and the word processing and spreadsheet applications from SoftMaker.

“It’s not a general-purpose PC,” Bill Edwards, AMD’s chief innovation officer said to the Mercury News. “It focuses on communications, and for a lot of folks, that’s all they need.” AMD developed the device as part of a ’50×15′ plan; company chairman Hector Ruiz wants half the world’s population using computers in 2015.

Several countries have been making the PIC available via telecom or cable companies, who lease it as part of their service. AMD expects to have the PIC available in China, Turkey, and possibly Russia soon.

AMD donated about 400 of them to relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, the report said. This allowed users to access the various online resources that had come online in the wake of the disaster, letting them get in touch with people and find relief information.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

AMD, Radio Shack Selling Low-Cost PC
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  • Guest

    this article was helpful to me as a personal internet communicator

    owner.  I am somewhat happy with the product for basic emailing

    of spreadsheets and word text documents.  I have hit a road block

    with pdf readers for documents which require higher versions of

    readers.  I cannot seem to find any downloads which are compatible

    to the ce operating system.

     

    john blewitt