This hearkens back to numerous posts I have made virtually everywhere about Microsoft's need to seed the emerging markets with Windows, in order to make it truly ubiquitous.
And it IS a very good IDEA.
If it catches on, forget about the immediate, attendant PC sales! This will not only increase the affordability, in the markets that can barely afford it now, but are getting industrialized, of PCs using Microsoft software several orders of magnitude, it provides a 'soft' lock-in: familiarity with the program would make it a greater de facto standard than it is now.
Looking forward 10 years, what do you think the newly gentrified populace would be using?
This program, in many ways would definitely slow down the adoption of open source in most LDCs as their leaders realize that it 1) lowers the entry cost of computing for the masses, and 2) allows the people to use the leading-edge programs used in industrialized nations, as opposed to a copycat second-class (though definitely not second-rate) open source poor cousin.
I have always thought that a way of getting Microsoft software into the hands of the proletariat - I wanted it to be as close to free as fiscally possible - was the way to go, but this program, offering a unified software/hardware solution is even better.