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G announces free Apps for Rwandan Govt and Kenya Education Network

 12:06 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

from Google's press release on Businesswire [home.businesswire.com]:
Google Inc. today announced separate partnerships with the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure and the Kenya Education Network (KENET). As a result, Rwanda’s educational institutions and government ministries, and Kenya’s universities are starting to use Google Apps™ – Google’s set of hosted and customizable communications services. Students in both African countries as well as Rwandan government officials will have access to free communications tools including email, shared calendars, instant messaging and word processing under their institutions’ domain names.



 1:39 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

We're firmly back into the 'do no evil' ballpark with this one. I can see it ticking all the right boxes with both those who are concerned about educational access and poverty, and those who are anti-microsoft. On the other hand, I am concerned about whether the internet connectivity is good enough from Rwanda and Kenya? I hope they will install some local servers for these apps as international bandwidth can be at a premium outside of the EU and the US.


 2:08 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

In a different press relize G quoted to be dealt with Rwandan Ministry of Energy and Communications

In unrelated news, the same Ministry of Energy and Communications just announced a constuction of major oil pipeline between Kenya and Uganda through Rwanda:

Smells really oily to me.


 2:41 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

We're firmly back into the 'do no evil' ballpark with this one.

Yea. It would be TRULY evil to charge them for apps that they give away to everybody else.

(Google Apps Standard Edition and Google Apps Education Edition are already free to anyone who signs-up.)

Somehow, I don't think this PR will make headlines.

"Extra! Google doesn't charge for free apps!"


 2:56 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

According to Wiki the Major industries in Kenya are: petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing, tourism and their Per capita income is $371.

Now if Google teaches Adsence there Major industries will have 1 more addition to them their per capita will double or even triple. and ther you go... :)


 4:49 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is a business strategy. The key point here is that they are getting more "up and coming" people to use Google branded products/tools by inserting the product at the education level. People usually stick with the tools they learn to use, and if they use Google branded products, then they'll likely continue to use those products during their professional lives.

The key objective is to charge them later in life when they're actuially using the products to generate income. My guess is that Google will start charging for these product in the coming years, but they will always be free (or greatly discounted) for educational purposes.

MS had a similar strategy. Most of us still use MS products today! It's all about the marketing.

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