The competition to sell the world’s poor laptops continues

I first wrote about the $100 Laptop project in November of 2006. It turns out the non-profit that introduced the project is getting serious, if not below-the-belt, competition from INTEL. There are billions of poor people out there that can’t afford a laptop and those staggering numbers could lead to big profit. What started as a warm and fuzzy project is turning into a bitter business battle. You can read about some of the ugliness in the Wall Street Journal.

My 11/06 post on the $100 Laptop –

Imagine walking into a village. Africa, Central America, it doesn’t matter just as long as it’s remote.

You probably got there by following some pot-holed dirt road. You saw a car, but it was broken down and holes were rusted in the side. There are no power lines in sight. Tonight’s dinner runs amok clucking or mooing.

You approach a building made of corrugated metal and spare 2×4’s. You hear kids chattering about as kids do. It must be a school. You peak in the window. And this is where things get real creapy…

Every kid pecks away at a laptop.

Yves Behar is designing a $100 laptop for countries to buy by the millions to give to school children. The goal – “One Laptop per Child.” Read about the project in Wired magazine.

What would this mean?

Worst case – Cultures are squashed as the children of the world become addicted to online poker.

Best case – World Peace as the children of the world obtain online degrees as pharmaceutical assistants from the University of Phoenix.

I think this is an awesome idea and I hope it comes about. It would be interesting to see how it influences cultures and international politics.

Read a commentary about the project in the Christian Science Monitor.

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