UK Firm Launches PC Solution For Novices Called Alex

The Broadband Computer Company has launched a solution, called Alex, that claims to help novice computer users to do basic tasks like using the web, emails and more without any formal training.

Harry Drnec, marketing manager of the company, quotes to PC Pro that 12.2 million people don't have a PC and nearly a quarter of the population have one but "just don't get it" before adding that Apple and Microsoft left 40 percent of the population behind.

Alex comprises of a Clevo M760T laptop with a specially customised Linux-based operating system, optional broadband and accessories.

The solution costs £399.52 as an initial outlay plus £10 per month from there and can be complemented by an equally expensive £25 per month broadband package.

The operating system is based on Ubuntu and uses a task-based user interface with clearly labelled buttons like "my news", "send" or "print".

The platform is packed with a suite of "practical" applications that's apparently built by German-based SoftMaker and since Alex is subscription-based, there's no maintenance and no antivirus systems to manage.

Alex is backed by what the BCC called a "comprehensive" help package both online, on paper (ed: does that mean snail mail?) and by telephone.

A software-only version of the package is also going to be released in the forthcoming months according to an executive at BCC and will be able to run on computers five or six years old.

Our Comments

Over the course of one year, you are likely to pay £820 in all if you go for the laptop and the broadband. The total cost of ownership from the second year onwards stands at a eye-popping £420 for what is essentially a free software package, repackaged.

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