Microsoft Installing 50,000 IT Kiosks In Rural India

    February 1, 2006

Microsoft has announced that it will be installing 50,000 self-sustaining IT kiosks in rural India as part of an initiative called Saksham, to provide services like:

  • Government to citizen services
  • Health services
  • Agriculture services
  • Commercial services
  • Communication services
  • Entertainment content & services
  • Desktop publishing
  • Education content and services
  • These will be launched as a partnership with 3 organizations: Drishti, Jai Kisan and n-Logue. Microsoft India calls it a scalable and self-sustaining initiative, suggests that they have a revenue model already in place.

    Ah, this article explains more:

    The software major will provide technical support and training to the local youth, who would manage these kiosks. The operators can charge a fee for various services and generate revenues to pay back their loans to the bank, Mr Singh said.

    Also, this:

    Commenting on the extensive research that has gone into the initiative, Ranjivjit Singh, group director – consumer business, Microsoft India, said, “Over the last two years, we conducted research at 350 kiosks covering 4000 users across six states in India, and found that users are looking for a mix of online and offline services to address a range of socio-economic needs. They want access to government records, agriculture-related information, entertainment and communication services, access to commercial services such as astrology and matrimonial services, education and learning among other things. However there is a gap between what they want, and what the existing models are able to offer. With Saksham’ we aim to enable the rural ecosystem to deliver solutions to these needs.”

    Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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