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The long-awaited $100 laptop for the bottom of the pyramid is heading toward production, according to it’s champion, MIT’s Media Lab cofounder Nicholas Negroponte, but it will be a bit more expensive—$140 to start. With more volume, it could drop to $100 by 2008. Negroponte was talking before a Red Hat conference and predicted that one of the biggest impacts of the laptop would be to spread linux throughout the world. Red Hat is supplying the linux operating system and AMD the chip.
Actually, AMD and Intel, as most of you already know, have their own ideas of how to empower people in towns and villages throughout India, Africa and other BOP areas. AMD is already selling the AMD Personal Internet Communicator, designed by M3 Design (the now-$140 laptop was done by Design Continuum) which you plug into a screen and keyboard.
I have it on good authority that both won silver awards in the upcoming Industrial Design Excellence Awards—the AMD in the computers category and Negroponte’s laptop in the Design Explorations category (as the Hundred Dollar Laptop Computer).
I’m hoping they both get out in mass soon so they do what they are intended to do—plug in hundreds of millions of people with little income to the net. These are two very difference approaches to solving that problem and I’d like to see which one works better.
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