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Microsoft calls on businesses as 'Get Online' campaign donations run dry

Jenny Williams

Microsoft is calling on businesses to donate PCs for re-use after the government-backed 'Get Online@Home' campaign is set to run out of equipment by the end of June.

The 'Get Online@Home' campaign provides low-cost Microsoft Windows 7 refurbished computers to people without internet access in the UK. The initiative forms part of the government's digital inclusion drive, which aims to get 8.7 million more people online in the UK by 2012.

But donations are falling short of demand, threatening to push up the sub-£100 price.

Clare Riley, who leads the initiative at Microsoft, said: "With the current supplies, Get Online at Home can meet the level of demand for refurbished PCs until the end of June, but we'll be looking for 2,500-3000 more donations every month to keep the programme running at the £95 price point."

Microsoft partnered with Europc, Remploy and Partners IT to provide refurbished computers. Donations have already been received from Logica, and government agencies including Becta.

Martha Lane Fox, the UK's digital champion, said: "Get Online at Home is a fantastic initiative led by Microsoft and its partners aimed at reaching the people who need access to affordable computing from under £100. That's a real achievement and we encourage more businesses across the UK to play their own part in helping the 8.7 million offline adults in the UK taking their first steps online by the end of the Olympic year".

Microsoft wants companies to donate 25 or more computers that are three or four years old. Free collection or central collection points are provided for companies donating equipment. The PCs are also data-wiped to government standards as part of the refurbishment.

For more information about donating equipment, click here.


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