July 11, 2004

HP Multi-User PC Sparks Debate

(NewsForge Editor's note: It's much more likely that the reason these machines will only be sold in Africa are restrictive deals with Microsoft rather than a shortage. A shortage can be cured very easily. The monopoly? Not so much.)

The question hangs over efforts being made by American computer-maker Hewlett Packard, which in the last two weeks introduced the Multi-user 441 desktop, a computer based on the open-source Linux operating system. HP reckons the unique design -- in which four keyboards and monitors are connected to a single central processing unit -- will save schools up to 60 percent of their ballooning computer costs.

But there is a hitch. HP has only made enough machines to sell to cash-starved school districts in South Africa.

Link: Wired News

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