IBM and Canonical partner on software package for Africa

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Woman trying IBM/Canonical software

The Wall Street Journal broke the story this morning of a partnership between IBM and Canonical to provide a software package for users of netbooks and other thin clients in Africa. The package, which can be configured in several ways to provide both netbook-based and cloud-based software, is expected to drive new business for local partners by taking advantage of open standards, file sharing, email, and social network capabilities.

Canonical is providing Ubuntu Linux and IBM is providing a suite of Lotus software including Lotus Symphony, Lotus Notes/iNotes, and cloud-based offerings such as Lotus Live. Clients may also deploy virtual Linux desktops via VERDE from Virtual Bridges.

More on this as the story is picked up in the media.

IBM Markets Wares to Africa
Wall Street Journal

IBM, which has been pushing into developing markets like Africa and Asia as mature markets slow, said the package — which includes basic programs like word processing and email — would be made available to customers via remote “cloud computing” facilities, meaning users could access the programs from the Web. It would cost $10 per month per user, and can run on so-called netbook computers, or low-cost PCs priced around $300.

IBM is working in collaboration with London-based Canonical Ltd., which makes Linux software and was started in South Africa.

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