IBM and Partners Launch Cloud Netbook for $190

IBM, Canonical and Simmtronics to Launch Netbook for Emerging Markets

by Anton Shilov
03/25/2010 | 03:25 PM

IBM, Canonical and Simmtronics today announced the Simmbook, a netbook designed specifically for emerging markets will be available at a low price of $190. The Simmbook is preloaded with IBM Client for Smart Work, which includes IBM Lotus Symphony, access to IBM LotusLive cloud collaboration services, and choice of adding other IBM Lotus collaboration software like Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime.


Although the companies keep specifications of the Simmbook in secret, they claim that the product “provides the power of a full-sized laptop” in a compact body. The personal computer runs Ubuntu and comes preloaded with IBM Client for Smart Work, IBM and Canonical's complete desktop package that's open, easy to use, and offers a security-rich alternative to costly, proprietary PC software, such as Microsoft Windows, the firms said. It can help lower costs by up to 50% of a typical Microsoft PC, according to IBM. Initially, the Simmbook will be available in South Africa, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

IBM Lotus Symphony is a full suite of applications for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and is estimated to have over 13 million users worldwide. IBM LotusLive provides integrated, Cloud-based email, web conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, relationship management and project tracking, with over 18 million users in 99 countries. IBM Lotus Notes/Domino provides enterprise-grade email and collaboration capabilities and is used by more than half of the largest global 100 corporations. It is available for a wide variety of Web devices.

"Netbooks are quickly becoming the norm instead of desktop computers for many businesses worldwide. In emerging markets such as South Africa, businesses need a solution that addresses both price and value. The Simmbook solution does just that – delivering a cost effective, high value and performance system with access to the collaborative tools that businesses need to run efficiently, including email, Web access and instant messaging. It is an ideal product for low total cost of ownership,” said Indrajit Sabharwal, founder and managing director of Simmtronics Semiconductors.

The Simmbook lends itself to the cloud computing model as it is thin, lightweight and enables users to quickly and easily gain access to the cloud, including IBM LotusLive collaboration services, without needing any additional customization. According to the three companies, not only does the Simmbook serve  as an access point to cloud, it is relevant for businesses starting up or looking to integrate collaboration into business – a user simply needs to turn it on and can begin using the standard features without utilizing more expensive software, such as Windows and Office-based systems.

“As Africa makes economic strides during a time when new technologies like cloud computing are emerging, the Simmbook netbook with LotusLive, Lotus Symphony, Lotus Notes and Ubuntu Linux provides businesses with a complete solution at an affordable price. CIO's, IT directors and IT architects from all type of organizations in South Africa -- even those that typically cannot afford new, expensive personal computers – can now legitimately consider netbooks instead of PCs for business use,” said Clifford Foster, IBM sub-Saharan chief technology officer.