AMD gains major kudos pointsMikey no comments
Marketed towards the low income earner, AMD's solution for getting the Internet into the average family's home is a big step in the right direction. Going by the name, the 'Personal Internet Communicator' or PIC for short, the machine has a modest set of specs considering it is only designed for email, instant messaging, word processing and browsing the web.
For your $350 you will get an AMD Geode x86 processor (not surprising), 128MB of RAM, a modem, 4 USB ports and a 10GB hard drive. As for the operating system, AMD state Windows CE with Windows XP extensions.
This would appear to be a strange choice of OS if affordability were the driving force behind the PIC, when you consider there are free alternatives, like Linux. But having said that, Linux is still not widely accepted in the home and everyone is already familiar with Windows.
A low income earner in the US is on between $1000 and $6000 per anum, so it's hardly surprising that they do not have a powerful workstation in the household. These people want the internet, but there is no way they are going to use one or 2 months of their wages for the privilege. But AMD's solution could bring the dream closer to reality.
The PIC is part if AMD's '50x15' plan, which is their plan to have 50% of the global population with Internet access by the year 2015. A very ambitious plan indeed, considering that only 10% currently have internet access.
Optimistic ambitions aside, you can not fault AMD for taking this step. With Intel concentrating on increasing CPU cycles and outperforming AMD's CPU's (albeit significantly more expensive), AMD are effectively crossing over to the Internet/PC market instead of limiting themselves to pumping out CPU technology.
By the time the blueprint reaches production, it is likely that the specs may have changed slightly, but ultimately the goal is to provide a feature rich Internet PC which is within the reaches of everybody. Kudos to AMD.