IBM has announced the launch of a new Atom-based netbook from Simmtronics that will ship with Lotus collaboration software and the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. The device, which is largely aimed at small businesses in emerging markets, will sell for $190. It is currently available in South Africa and will be expanding to other regions in the future.
In an effort to erode Microsoft's dominance on the enterprise desktop, IBM began partnering with Linux distributors to offer integrated Lotus packages in 2008. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has gradually become IBM's primary Linux partner on the desktop. Following the launch of Windows 7 last year, IBM touted the Ubuntu and Lotus combo as an alternative, claiming that companies could save money by adopting it instead of upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft's operating system.
The Ubuntu Netbook Remix has been gaining traction among hardware vendors including OEMs like Dell and ODMs like Pegatron. Simmtronics is the latest hardware company to adopt Canonical's Linux platform.
"Canonical has a great program for engaging with hardware manufacturers for getting Ubuntu certified and delivered across various platforms and we're happy to welcome Simmtronics to the program," said Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth in a statement. "It's exciting to see how computing is changing the lives of people in Africa and the new Simmbook provides a real testament of how important it is to get low-cost computing into Africa's economy."
Shuttleworth, who is from South Africa, is a vocal advocate of open source software and its potential to help close the digital divide. In a video published on IBM's website, he discusses how lower-cost computing can help Africa realize its potential.
Source: ars technica