Friday, February 6, 2009

QSC-Microsoft Green PC Initiative All Set to Take Off

THE first batch of refurbished computers is ready for distribution to the underprivileged under a joint initiative launched by Microsoft and Qatar Scientific Club.

“The recipients are to be identified by a charity organization,” Microsoft country manager Mohamed Hammoudi told Gulf Times.

The Green PC initiative, launched last month, involves soliciting donations of older personal computers and laptops, which are refurbished and given away.
“Microsoft is supporting Qatar Scientific Club (QSC) by putting software onboard, primarily Windows and Office,” Hammoudi explained.

The official recalled that an announcement made by Microsoft for old computers resulted in good response with a number of organizations coming forward.
The project, a part of the IT giant’s corporate social responsibility programme, will also benefit the environment by helping to prevent the premature disposal of computers that can be re-used.

“As a next step in this regard, Microsoft is also assisting Qatar Scientific Club to make it an IT academy and develop a digital library,” Hammoudi pointed out.
This venture provides essential training tools and information on Microsoft’s latest technologies, which would give QSC members the opportunity to enhance their ICT skills and capabilities.

Though technology upgrades and organisational changes at many companies are creating an enormous surplus of older but usable PCs, only a small portion are redeployed to serve the educational and training needs of underserved communities, the official observed.

He said that millions of potentially useful PCs are going to waste and with them, opportunities to expand digital inclusion are being lost.

“With the help of Qatar Scientific Club, the Green PC initiative increases the availability of low-cost usable PCs to communities in Qatar that helps in the creation of new social and economic opportunities in the country”, Hammoudi added.