Remember when the UK started distributing free laptops to poor schoolchildren in order to encourage them to get online? Well, a new, more frugal government is now in charge, and while the original scheme has been scrapped, today we're hearing of alternative plans to help economically disadvantaged people leap onto the worldwide surfer's web. The coalition government intends to offer £98 ($156) computers -- which include an LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, and a dedicated helpline -- paired with subsidized £9 ($14) per month internet connections in its effort to show that the web doesn't have to seem (or be) unaffordable. The cheapest machines will be refurbished units running open-source Linux distros, meaning that if this Race Online 2012 trial turns out well, we could see a whole new group of Linux loyalists rising up. The more the merrier!

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UK aims to improve access to technology, internet with £98 Linux PCs