A US company has introduced 'smarter software' to try and help bridge the divide between digital haves and have nots.
Clive Smith, Newdeal's president, said: "We want to make sure that nobody is left behind. We specialise in leading edge software for lagging edge technology. And even a Pentium III, IV and V will be lagging edge at some time."
As a result, Newdeal's Websuite provides Internet access, including Web browsing and email, for any computer based on a 286 processor to the latest Pentium chip. It requires 7Mbytes of hard disk and 640Kbytes of memory, costs $49.95 and supports such Web applications as instant chat and Web page editing.
The company has also announced a new version of its Newdeal Office suite for $69.95, which includes six applications such as a desktop manager for managing files and applications, an advanced Web browser for research and exploration, email, an Internet chat program and an HTML Webeditor.
It runs on top of MS-Dos and brings a graphical user interface and Web capabilities to legacy computers such as 286 machines running MS-Dos, but the files can also be used by Windows programs and vice versa.
Smith claimed the offering was modern multitasking, fully multithreaded software and added: "We can even do more on a 386 than was ever done because of our technology architecture."
The operating system was written in the assembly language and "this precision coding brings added efficiency," he said.
He added that software suites were the "only integrated point and click application suites with word processor, spreadsheet, database and Internet browser, able to run effectively on the 10s of millions of computers left behind by today's bloated software".
Newdeal's primary markets are schools, home offices and nonprofit organisations in the US and Western Europe, but it also has a presence in Southern Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, India, Jamaica and Australia.
Smith founded the company in 1996 and was a former senior executive at Geoworks. Newdeal has licensed Geoworks Geos ultra slim software.
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