Intel, Microsoft sell 150,000 laptops to Libya

BOSTON Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:55am EDT

Intel CEO Paul Otellini displays a Classmate PC in a 2006 photo. Intel and Microsoft are supplying Libya's government with 150,000 rugged laptop computers that cost $200 to build and are designed to meet the needs of children in developing countries. REUTERS/Scott Audette

Intel CEO Paul Otellini displays a Classmate PC in a 2006 photo. Intel and Microsoft are supplying Libya's government with 150,000 rugged laptop computers that cost $200 to build and are designed to meet the needs of children in developing countries.

Credit: Reuters/Scott Audette

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Intel Corp (INTC.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) are supplying Libya's government with 150,000 rugged laptop computers that cost $200 to build and are designed to meet the needs of children in developing countries.

Intel spokeswoman Agnes Kwan said in an interview on Tuesday night that Libya's education ministry ordered the equipment in August and shipments began last month.

"So far it's going well. We're just a month into the deployment," Kwan told Reuters.

The sale of the devices was reported by Libya's domestic press in August, she said, but Intel and Microsoft have yet to discuss it outside of that country.

Kwan said that Intel and Microsoft are not subsidizing the price of the laptops, which Intel sells under the Classmate PC brand. She did not disclose how much the Libyan education ministry is paying for them.

She also said that Intel had signed up Nigeria as a Classmate PC customer, though she said she did not know how many machines the government would order, or whether they would run on Windows or the rival Linux operating system. Classmate PCs are capable of running both types of software.

The sale of the Classmate PCs to Libya is Intel's second-largest since it launched the product last year. In April it won an order to provide 700,000 of them to Pakistan's Allama Iqbal Open University.

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