Monday, August 07, 2006

Wired 14.08: The Laptop Crusade

Wired 14.08: The Laptop Crusade

...As of early summer, One Laptop per Child was negotiating with many potential buyers – Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Thailand, and countries in Central America – some of them close collaborators in the design. But none of them have committed to the minimum purchase of 1 million laptops, at a cost of about $140 each (Negroponte expects the price to drop to $50 by 2010). Which means the program is a long way from Negroponte’s self-imposed minimum of 5 million laptops, expected to ship at the beginning of next year. “What happens if we get only 1 million?” Negroponte says. “We delay launch until we have enough.”

But Béhar has become a believer – and he’s not the only one. Intel is showing off a $450 education laptop, and Bill Gates has proposed plugging cell phones into televisions as a way to bring computers to the developing world. Competition is a welcome change from the eye rolls of a year or two ago.

“It’s like there’s this virus of cheap laptops,” Béhar says, laughing.
“That’s what happens when you plant an idea.”

No comments: