Microsoft and Dell team up for fight HIV/AIDS in Africa

  1. THE POWER OF TWO. Source: MSN News

    There are problems — and then there are problems.
    (RED) CEO Susan Smith Ellis remembers the day she got the calls from Microsoft and Dell. "It was hard to get our hands around at first. I mean, Microsoft and Dell are huge companies and (RED) is a handful of people. But imagining what we could accomplish together, I knew immediately this was a very good problem to have."
    In a joint statement, released today, Dell and Microsoft’s Windows Vista team announced they were teaming up to create a line of personal computers for (RED), an initiative focused on fighting the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa.
    "This is a thrilling day for (RED)," remarks Ellis. "These are two of the biggest technology brands in the world, teaming up to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa, the greatest health crisis of our time."
    (RED) is an economic initiative co-founded by activist Bobby Shriver and U2 frontman Bono, in March 2006, as a partnership among The Global Fund and several leading consumer-brand retailers. Its aim is to make a difference in the lives of people stricken with HIV/AIDS in Africa. So far (RED) has generated almost $50 million for The Global Fund, whose purpose it is to attract, manage and disburse resources to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
    "The PC has revolutionized our lives," says Bono, co-founder of (RED). "The (RED) Dell-Microsoft partnership takes it a step further with PCs which channel money to The Global Fund."

    The (RED) initiative works with what is becoming a familiar model: "embedded giving." Licensed retailers — including Emporio Armani, Apple, Gap, Converse, Motorola, Hallmark and now Windows Vista and Dell — sell their (PRODUCT) RED-branded consumer goods and donate up to 50 percent of the gross profits to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Africa. Branding everything from sneakers to cell phones, Shriver and Bono hope to harness the power of American consumerism to incite a revolution of consumer-driven philanthropy. "By partnering with (RED)," says Ellis "Dell and Windows Vista are adding a range of products that will contribute significantly to the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS in Africa."
    And timing is on their side. In a recent MSN-Zogby poll, most respondents (71 percent) said they are concerned about HIV/AIDS in Africa. Furthermore, 46 percent said they think charitable organizations are effective at combating HIV/AIDS in Africa, and nearly half (48 percent) indicated they believe buying products from companies that donate a portion of profits to charity will help those in need.
    In Africa, it only costs about 40 cents a day to fund the two antiretroviral pills, or ARVs, that can help keep someone with HIV alive. Today, an estimated 33.2 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide; 22.5 million of them, about 68 percent, are living — and dying at the alarming rate of 4,400 a day — in Africa. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in Africa today, and many of those deaths are preventable. "It's a truly beautiful idea," says Bono, "that the purchase of a stylish PC can put someone on lifesaving ARV treatment for six months."
    "We are excited," declares Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, "to be able to take the best version of our most important product — Windows Vista — and work with Dell to develop an offering for (RED) that has the potential to make a very significant contribution in the fight against AIDS in Africa." On Jan. 31, Dell will release three new personal computers — the Dell XPS One (PRODUCT) RED; the Dell XPS M1330 (PRODUCT) RED; and the Dell XPS M1530 (PRODUCT) RED. Each will run Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED operating system. The Dell 948 All-in-One (PRODUCT) RED printer will also be available.
    The combined dollar contribution of Dell and Windows Vista to The Global Fund from each Dell XPS One (PRODUCT) RED will be $80. The donation from each Dell XPS M1330 (PRODUCT) RED and each Dell XPS M1530 (PRODUCT) RED will be $50. "By our standards in the U.S., antiretroviral drugs are relatively inexpensive now," says Gates. "Eighty dollars can buy almost a half-year supply for one person, and $50 buys nearly a third of a year."
    And what makes the Windows Vista and Dell (PRODUCT) RED offerings significant is not only their technology and appearance — cool (PRODUCT) RED design, (PRODUCT) RED wallpapers, gadgets, a screensaver and a (PRODUCT) RED DreamScene — but also the extraordinary reach of these powerful brands. "Over time we expect this to have a significant impact," says Gates. "When we began talking about participating in (RED), we knew we wanted to pick a consumer product that was high-volume, and so Windows Vista was a natural choice."

  2. Well...Good! hopefully they make alot of money for antiretroviral drugs.