The $100 laptop project has gotten twice as good, or at least twice as expensive, as the Cambridge Foundation has not achieved the economies of scale that it thought it might at the beginning of the project. Still, $200 for a laptop is an incredible price, and the project may include Microsoft in its contributor's list as the software giant is trying to tweak XP OS to run on the low cost laptops, which use flash memory instead of a hard drive. One of the features that will also help keep costs low for users is the two watts of power consumption, as opposed to 30-40 watts for most existing laptops. The laptops are scheduled to go into production in November and will be manufactured in China, though far fewer will be produced than the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) group had originally hoped.
'$100 laptop' hits $200 (CNET News.com)
The group has received its first large order of 100,000 machines to be sold to the government of Uruguay for distribution to schoolchildren. Uruguay has also said that they may buy 300,000 more of the low-cost computers to complete their goal of providing one machine to each child in the country. The group is actively trying to get governments around the world to live up to the handshake deals that were made over the past 18 months, because it doesn't have the funds for a large-scale manufacturing run. One innovative plan is to sell the laptops to the general public for $400, using the profits to pay for one laptop to donate to impoverished regions.
One Laptop per Child gets first order (Tectonic)
Group seeks buyers for low-cost laptops (Boston Globe)
In my opinion, this project might be one of the best ways to address the issues of education and poverty in developing countries. Educating the masses in those countries will empower them to be able to get jobs, start businesses (especially with the growth of "micro-loans" in the developing world), and pull themselves out of the cycle of poverty. Do you think that this project is a worthwhile venture? Would you be willing to buy a low-cost laptop in order to have one donated to a poverty-stricken youngster?
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