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Mobile Social Computing To Bridge An Ethnic Divide

Local language versions of the Glide Web-based mobile application suite help fuel CEO Donald Leka hopes of connecting those who can barely afford a PC.

Having already beaten Apple, Google, and Microsoft to the punch by delivering a complete socially-oriented cloud computing service that works with Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and assorted mobile phones, New York-based TransMedia is trying to bring an element of social responsibility to computer-driven interaction.

On Thursday, TransMedia launched the Glide OS World Development Program (GWDP) to make mobile computing more accessible in developing countries. Working in conjunction with various non-profit culturally-oriented foundations, the company has released Glide Kosovo and Glide Albania, local language versions of the Glide Web-based mobile application suite.

TransMedia's Glide OS offers a collection of more than a dozen free Web-based applications -- a word processor, a spreadsheet, a photo editor, and others -- that can be used on PCs or mobile phones. The service comes with 10 GB of online storage space and additional storage can be had for $5 per 20 GB.

TransMedia CEO Donald Leka hopes that providing free applications that can be used across devices and operating systems will help people who might not be able to afford a desktop computer participate in the Internet age.

To help promote social interaction in a part of the world where ethnic conflicts have been common, Leka said that TransMedia will be absorbing e-commerce transaction fees incurred through the use of the Glide platform's personal online store service (soon to be available through the Settings menu). The idea is to encourage commerce across ethnic and cultural lines. Thus, if an Albanian buys something from a Serbian through Glide, he or she would be eligible for a discount. Leka said that the discount will also be available for those claiming financial need, which he said will probably be a lot of the people in Kosovo and Albania.

The GWDP plans to launch on July, 28th 2008. Leka said he expects to have Glide OS available in 20 countries by the end of the year. At present, Glide OS has about 565,000 users.

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