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Dell, Microsoft Join (Red) In Fighting AIDS In Africa

The companies said they will contribute as much as $80 for each specially branded notebook, desktop, and printer bought by Dell customers.

Dell (Red) XPS M1550 notebook

The Dell (Red) XPS M1550 notebook will be available this week through Dell and Best Buy.
(click image for larger view)

Dell and Microsoft said Wednesday that they will jointly fight against AIDS in Africa through the sales of specially branded (Red) notebooks, desktops, and printers.

The companies said they will contribute as much as $80 for each branded product bought by Dell customers.

Under the partnership, an XPS desktop and two notebooks and a printer will feature the (Red) brand, Dell said. The (Red) project, which is operated by The Global Fund, was co-founded by U2 singer Bono to draw businesses into the battle against AIDS in Africa.

Depending on the PC purchased, the contribution would range from $50 to $80. Buying the (Red) printer would lead to a $5 contribution. Dell and Microsoft plan to formally announce the partnership this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Dell (Red) products will be available on its Web site and at Best Buy stores throughout the U.S. by the end of the week, the computer maker said. Beginning Jan. 31, the products will also be available through Dell in nearly 30 additional countries.

The PCs will include Windows Vista Ultimate and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The special edition Vista has (Red)-themed software that includes six unique desktop wallpapers, a screensaver and two Windows Sidebar gadgets. The computers and printer will sport a "vibrant red" color.

The specific Dell products available with the (Red) brand include the XPS One desktop, which like the Apple iMac has the computer built into one unit with the monitor. The entertainment PC starts at $1,599 and includes the $80 contribution.

The notebooks include the XPS M1330 and XPS M1530. The first one weighs less than four pounds, is less than an inch thick, and features a 13.3-inch screen and built-in Wi-Fi. The latter is a 15.4-inch notebook with a built-in webcam, fingerprint reader, touch-sensitive multimedia buttons and brush aluminum accents. Both machines start at $1,149, and each include a $50 contribution.

The 948 (Red) All-in-One Printer includes fax, scan, copy, and print functions as well as photo-printing options. The product starts at $149 and includes a $5 contribution.

According to Dell, $80 can buy six months of drug treatment for AIDS in Africa, while $50 can buy four months of treatment. The (Red) project focuses on the countries of Rwanda, Swaziland, and Ghana.

Dell plans to feature its (Red) products in its first ads for the Super Bowl. The football championship airs Feb. 3.

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