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The Bolivarian VIT C2660, powered by a 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. (Source: VIT)
One more South American nation hops on the open source bandwagon

The Venezuelan government is the latest administration to jump ship when it comes to Microsoft Windows.

The "Bolivarian Computer," a locally built PC and notebook line, is now available in four different models -- all of which use the Linux operating system.  The low-cost Linux-based laptop and desktops are currently available for government programs and workers, but should eventually hit the open market for all Venezuelan citizens soon.

Venezuela de Industria Tecnologica (VIT), owned by the Inspur Group, working alongside the Venezuelan government, hope to manufacture 80,000 desktops and 6,000 notebooks in the trial run.  If the initiative picks up, the factory where the products are manufactured can create up to 150,000 products every year.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez personally announced the lineup last week, claiming the systems will range from $405 up to $1,400 USD.

One motherboard representative, who spoke under the condition that DailyTech would not reveal his name or employer, states that Venezuela is able to achieve such a low price point by implementing a proven manufacturing process already prevalent in Brazilian PCs.  "It's called CKD, Complete Knock Down. Instead of doing the surface mount in China or Taiwan, we ship all the components to Venezuela and the boards are assembled there."

Not only does CKD reduce the tariffs for the component manufacturer, but it also frees the manufacturer from any service and warranty woes.  Inspur Group will be responsible for any in-field servicing or repairs of the new machines.

Once demand inside the country dies down, Chavez also promised the computers would become a principle export for the country.  The government will donate the first several thousand computers to medical students studying in Venezuela.




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