Last fortnight, tech giant Microsoft and HCL Infosystems announced a slew of initiatives. For starters, HCL has unveiled a laptop in its MiLeap Series, which, it says, is the lowest-priced laptop in the world to run Microsoft Windows XP. At Rs 16,990, the laptop runs on Windows XP Home, has a 30-GB hard disk drive and is broadband ready. The earlier version of MiLeap came with Linux as the operating system for Rs 14,990. “According to market surveys we conducted, more than 80 per cent of our consumers said that they would like to have a low-priced laptop from the MiLeap series to be loaded with Windows software,” says Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman and CEO, HCL Infosystems. “India has sold about seven million PCs as compared to China’s 32 million PCs last year. We have a large scope for growth. The Windows operating system used in MiLeap has been specifically designed for this project alone,” he added.
HCL Infosystems also plans to train over 50,000 students in Microsoft technology over the next three years in 100 centers across the country. There are already about 60 such centres in the country. It is estimated that India will face a shortage of 2.3 million tech professionals by 2010. In addition, both companies will set up a Center of Excellence in HCL’s Noida facility, which will employ more than 500 software professionals to create, design and deploy Microsoft technology-based solution frameworks across verticals such as telecom, banking, and financial services.
— T.V. Mahalingam