Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A $100 Laptop; or is it?

$100 laptop no more!

Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop per Child Foundation (OLPC) has begun selling its famed $100 (XO) laptops for no less than $200 a piece.

The laptops are being made available in quantities of 10,000 and more via the OLPC Web site at: http://laptopfoundation.org/participate/givemany.shtml).

So far, the one constant in the journey of the $100 laptop has been the steady rise in prices: from the original $100 to the interim $150 to the recent $188.

What is surprising though is that the laptops being offered via the OLPC Web site are part of a donor program, wherein donors who purchase them will get to decide where they are to be sent, etc. So why are they priced so high?

Further, the XO laptops are slated to go into production in China next month, which is behind original schedule. Same with the quantities to be produced, which are way behind earlier projections.

And, the software required to run the laptops is not expected to be ready before December 7th. Which means customers have a long wait ahead before they can get their hands on the laptops.

The so-called $100 laptop comes with: a keyboard that switches languages, a video camera, wireless connectivity, an Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) microprocessor, and Linux software.

While the laptop uses Linux software, Microsoft is trying to make its Windows XP software work on the machine.

The laptop's display switches from color to Black and White for viewing in direct sunlight. The machine needs just 2 watts of power as compared to a typical laptop that needs up to 30 to 40 watts of power.

The laptop has no hard drive, and uses flash memory and four USB ports to add memory and other devices.
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