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Dell joins budget PC push in Thailand

Dell Computer replaces rival Hewlett-Packard in a deal to make cheap Linux and Windows-based computers for the Thailand government's "people's PC" project.

Dell Computer has replaced rival Hewlett-Packard in a deal to make cheap Linux and Windows-based computers for the Thailand government's "people's PC" project.

In May, Thailand's Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) ministry launched a budget PC program to spur computer ownership in the country. The ICT ministry initially said a slew of government-subsidized, Linux-installed models from HP and local computer makers will be made available.

However, HP Senior Vice President Alex Gruzen has since said that the deal fell through and that the company will not be shipping the Linux notebooks after all.

In its place, Dell will now offer two notebook models to people who had booked the HP machines, the Bangkok Post reported. Under the government scheme, computers will bear only the ICT logo, regardless of which company makes it.

The Dell Latitude D500 notebook, which is installed with Microsoft Windows, will sell for $870 (36,500 baht). The same model sells for more than $1,400 in other countries.

The Dell Inspiron notebook, which comes in both Windows and Linux flavors, will retail for $546 and $465, respectively, the report said. Dell's Singapore office did not provide more details about the notebooks.

Beside Dell, two models from Taiwan-based computer maker Jade Quantum will be offered to these people at prices similar to that of the Dell Inspiron, the report added.

CNETAsia staff reported from Singapore.