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Bringing Relevant Technology to Rural Areas

Henan province, Chinese government officials take ownership of two “InfoWagons” designed to open up new avenues of digital literacy for rural citizens.

At a small village at Luohe, Henan Province in Central China, Will Poole, corporate vice president at Microsoft, participated in a rollout ceremony marking the delivery of two of six InfoWagons donated by Microsoft as part of an innovative rural computing pilot program. The high-tech buses — each outfitted with 15 student PCs and one instructor PC — will serve as computer training centers on wheels as they circulate to rural villages throughout one of China’s most populous province.

Poole and other Microsoft executives also attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the Integrated Information Training Center at Luohe township.

A relatively underdeveloped and primarily agricultural province, Henan is identified by Microsoft and MII as well-suited to a rural computing general services pilot program. The overall goal of Microsoft’s rural computing programs is to empower people by introducing them to the benefits of information and communications technology (ICT). The effort is central to Microsoft’s global rural computing vision and comes under the umbrella of Microsoft Unlimited Potential, an initiative that reflects the company’s commitment to promote sustained social and economic opportunity for the estimated 5 billion people worldwide who are underserved by technology.

“The entire IT industry agrees that technology access and affordability in the rural computing space is required, but relevance is an equally important consideration,” Poole says. “We, as an industry, need to work together to provide technology that has real application and usefulness in people’s lives. For example, delivering services that people find relevant for agriculture, healthcare, education and skills training, will help to address the unique needs of rural communities.”

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Microsoft, Technology, Rural, Areas, Press Release, Announcment

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