[Via Narain over phone] Business Standard reports PC, software and broadband connection for Rs 499 a month
This is not a done deal yet. Bharti and HCL, I think were planning on a similar deal, and it was talked about at least an year back. Basically a hardware vendor and an broadband provider come together and offer a bundled leasing deal for a client. The OS and software vendors may also have to brought in as the lincesing deal on the OS may not allow sub-leasing (or does it?).
The sinister thing in the above news is Microsoft pushing this through. They have no business to be there. It must be a deal fronted by the ISP, with the second largest partner being the hardware vendor. In fact, instead of a single hardware vendor, the ISP should aim to get a bunch of hardware vendors - a consortium, and even vendors who offer thin clients such as Rajesh Jain's Novatium.
But, Microsoft clearly understands the threat they are facing by the low cost PC movement which cuts out the Microsoft OS and bundles Linux OS to pare the cost down drastically. So Microsoft has to think of a clever marketing deal. And leads the pack. BSNL of course cannot think of such schemes.
I hope someone sensible in the BSNL higher management decides to handle this directly and cut Microsoft out from the deal. They have nothing of value to offer in this deal.