Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Computing - Intel Kit to Promote Linux in China, India
November 24, 2004
Intel has announced that it has begun offering free kits to help facilitate the use of Linux in India and China, in what is seen as a clear sign of the chipmaker's intent to promote adoption of the Linux operating system in emerging markets where cheaper PCs could mean greater demand for Intel chips.


At first, PC assemblers must use motherboards built by Intel, but a company spokesperson indicated that in the future the kit would support motherboards from other manufacturers. In its present form, the Intel Linux starter kit is compatible with desktop versions of Linux sold by Red Hat, Novell, and Red Flag, but future versions of the kit will also support Linux operating systems produced by the China Standard Software Company.


The "Intel Quick Start Kit for Linux" will include free software, instruction manuals, and other resources to help distributors in India and China assemble and sell PCs that use Linux. Demand for Linux is increasing in both countries, especially in government, education, and business. Intel's Linux starter kit has features that assist distributors with the installation process. It also contains supporting software and drivers that are needed to work with accessory components, such as printers.


None of the components of the Intel kit are new, but Intel hopes by packaging them together that it will simplify the process of Linux adoption for PC assemblers who lack advanced technical know-how. This is not the first time that Intel has taken steps to encourage the adoption of Linux, but its previous efforts have mainly focused on hardware such as mobile phones, servers, and TV set top boxes.