kripkenstein writes "According to an Ars Technica report Microsoft will begin selling complete PCs, for the first time in the company's history. The program is aimed at customers in India. 'Dubbed the IQ PC, the machines will cost RS21,000 (about $525), are manufactured in partnership with Zenith, and will sport AMD Athlon CPUs. ... In some ways, the move to sell hardware is a natural extension of Microsoft's low-cost Windows initiative ... It may also be a response to projects like Intel's Classmate PC and the OLPC XO.' The Ars Technica summary is careful to state that they seriously doubt this will lead to Microsoft selling PCs in the US, yet the question must be asked: After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?"
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