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Microsoft offers phones as PCs for poor

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Thu May 8, 2008

Microsoft Fone Plus

Microsoft today discussed some of the details of a project it estimates could help address a lack of computing in developing countries. A plan so far known as Fone+ would give users a basic or mid-range smartphone with a dock or similar connection to a TV, giving them a potentially higher-resolution screen and a more comfortable distance to use the device as a budget computer. Doing so not only provides a relatively low cost PC but also a cellphone at the same time; this gives even farmers a way to compute without taking away phones they often use, Microsoft says.

The project would use a variant on Windows Mobile, though whether Fone+ would use a custom phone design or a stock phone from an existing manufacturer is unknown. Microsoft has used prototypes to prove the validity of the concept but hasn't announced any intentions to translate this to a production model. Existing work has so far been kept within Microsoft and hasn't involved outside partners, according to the company.

Processors such as Intel's Atom are said to be instrumental to developments like Fone+ by significantly increasing the performance of handhelds and ultimately cellphones in the near future, enabling multi-function devices that perform the same tasks that would require a desktop or notebook today.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pottymouth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What? Seriously. What?

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Begs the question

    Does Microsoft hate the poor? Why else would they inflict their product on them?

    I guess it supports the addage, "The poor get poorer."

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    all of that

    is going to be wrapped up in a $25 phone for poor people in developing countries? With added coupons and rebates...

    It's a conspiracy_ M$ is vieing for 100% of the world's population to be "plugged in" and the day that happens - something terrible will occur - I just know it_

    In other news - someone toady at Microsoft Head-quarters wore a tie_ Secret unknown sources say it had pin-stripes to go with the matching sweat stains on the wearers shirt_

    And then someone thought to ask how in the h*** does this have a G********* thing to do with Mac related news - the mac Community or Apple?

    PLEASE MacNN - inquiring minds really want to know!

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    so let me see.....

    if I have this straight. Let's say I live in a mud and tin hut on the outskirts of Lima, Peru; have six children; no electricity or running water; and probably have never attended a formal school. Do I qualify for the FREE computer phone and TV? I think there are greater problems in the world crying out for solutions.

    Giving a kid the 64 color box of Crayolas with the built in crayon sharpener doesn't give him a better shot at being the next Picasso than the kid with the Crayola box of 10.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They can't sell them

    it's their new plan. They can't sell them or compete with the Iphone so lets give them to the 3rd world poor and flood the market with their c***. Then they can quote some stat saying well we beat the Iphone as 60% of the population use windows mobile ... just that most of them were given away to the poor

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