Many commentators have extolled the virtues of new information and communicationtechnologies (ICTs) in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life. While such arguments havebeen used before in relation to many predecessor technologies, including other earliercommunications technologies, the promise has often floundered.This paper attempts to provide a more balanced analysis of the question, by exploring thelinkages between the new ICTs and poverty reduction. It examines the linkages in two ways: thepotential for direct impacts of ICTs on various areas of poverty and development, and the indirectimpacts of ICTs on economic growth, exports and other macro variables in the economy. It alsoexamines direct employment prospects in the ICT industries, particularly in the context of India,which appears to have made some breakthroughs in the software development business. The paperreviews a number of "case stories" to illustrate the potential direct impacts of ICTs in the areas oflivelihood, employment, education, health, governance and empowerment of the poor.