Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 18th Nov 2005 14:59 UTC, submitted by Ram Singh Thakur
Hardware, Embedded Systems "If you shop around, you can actually get a functional computer for $500 (EUR 425,-). But as we become more budget conscious, $500 seems to be a bit much for a standard machine, so what's our next target? Why, it's an over ambitious $100 (EUR 85,-) notebook. How companies accomplish this is their business; what we are interested in is what they ship out for a product when all is said and done. As of now, however, there is one thing that interests me even more, and that is, why would they want to sell me a $100 notebook in the first place?"
Order by: Score:
Not so good
by Emil on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:11 UTC
Emil
Member since:
2005-06-29

"Think about this: what is the number one reason for people to continue to use with Windows? Learning curve, of course"

This is weak stuff. First, laptops won't ship with OSX. So Apple won't get free audience. Also, learning curve is not a thing with people targeted by $100 laptop. They mostly haven't used computer. Ever.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not so good
by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Nov 2005 22:46 UTC in reply to "Not so good"
Anonymous Member since:
---

www.laptopworldwide.com sells laptops for $100, what's the big deal

Reply Score: 0

They are not selling you it
by Devilotx on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:17 UTC
Devilotx
Member since:
2005-07-06

They are giving them to children, they are not for sale, you can't buy them, and they are lime green to signal they are a childs device and to issue a "stigma" on them.

They are designed to give basic computer functionality to students who otherwise would not get that chance

It's not about profit, its about spreading technology

Reply Score: 4

RE: They are not selling you it
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:29 UTC in reply to "They are not selling you it"
Anonymous Member since:
---

If an economically challenged child owning such a computer becomes an adult, who, for lack of money, cannot aquire another computer, do you expect that they will dispose of it? If not, then any "stigma" is likelly to fade very quickly.

If millions of these units will be produced - as is required to ensure a USD 100 price point - then it is safe to assume that the manufacturers of such devices will create USD 100 clones for resale in gunmetal black for an adult audience (or they may create 12" devices for USD 150 for the adults) so the devices will become widelly used. You cannot make products without there being a profit motive somewhere in the chain.

Personally, the thing that interests me, is how society may change when a huge chunk of the child/young adult population in 3rd world countries, lacking any outside world contact, is suddenly connected not only to others in the country but to the world community via the internet.

]{

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: They are not selling you it
by Hands on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: They are not selling you it"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

If an economically challenged child owning such a computer becomes an adult, who, for lack of money, cannot aquire another computer, do you expect that they will dispose of it? If not, then any "stigma" is likelly to fade very quickly.

You're kidding, right? You don't think there will be a stigma to a cheap lime green computer that is at least a few years old and has a keyboard that only a child can be comfortable using? They might become valuable as collector's items, but I seriously doubt that many people will have a lot of motivation to continue using them as technology improves and better hardware becomes cheaper.

If the project continues for more than a few years (I doubt that it will because in essence this project will practically create a market for very affordable educational technolog), it wouldn't be impossible to differentiate one generation of products from another by changing the design a bit. It is very possible that a grey market could surface, but it shouldn't be a very large market. I don't see an issue at all.

Reply Score: 1

RE: They are not selling you it
by Anonymous on Sat 19th Nov 2005 04:27 UTC in reply to "They are not selling you it"
Anonymous Member since:
---

Actually, you're 1/2 right.

The companies involved in making the actual device CAN SELL IT for over the base bulk price and as they please. That's not the primary driver of this project, though. Those companies will not sell it for as little as the school systems will be able to buy it for...but they CAN DO SO.

Currently, there are no plans. View the UN/MIT video for details.

Reply Score: 0

Profit?
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:25 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Profit is a good motivation and I am pretty sure that Mr Negroponte realizes it. He is by no means a Richard Stallman, he is a successful business man. That is why I believe this project stands *a very good chance* to succeed.

Reply Score: 1

Non Profit Corporation
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:26 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The company who is making the $100 laptops as highlighted in the press recently are a Not For Profit entity. They are doing this because they believe that education, and in particular the type of education that can be delivered digitally, will help eradicate many problems in the developing nations.

The answer to your last question: They wouldn't.

Reply Score: 1

Hardly news
by moleskine on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:26 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

This article isn't all that interesting and it is full of grammatical errors which doesn't help. It's a truism to say that commercial companies invest in projects in order to make a profit. But that doesn't invalidate the project or mean that it can't be presented as philanthropy because the project overall is not intended to make a profit.

After all, few developing nations have the money to buy these notebooks. It's us in the West who'll be funding them through grants and loans. Looking for evil plans for world domination in the nutty professor's baby is a little fanciful. And that's if these notebooks ever go into volume production, which isn't yet certain.

So ... it's back to journalism school for you, Mr Varun Dubey.

Edited 2005-11-18 16:31

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hardly news
by Smartpatrol on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:05 UTC in reply to "Hardly news"
Smartpatrol Member since:
2005-07-06

This article isn't all that interesting and it is full of grammatical errors which doesn't help. It's a truism to say that commercial companies invest in projects in order to make a profit. But that doesn't invalidate the project or mean that it can't be presented as philanthropy because the project overall is not intended to make a profit.

There is nothing wrong with making profit in an endeavour such as this.

After all, few developing nations have the money to buy these notebooks. It's us in the West who'll be funding them through grants and loans. Looking for evil plans for world domination in the nutty professor's baby is a little fanciful. And that's if these notebooks ever go into volume production, which isn't yet certain.

I have a huge problem with that idea i do not want my tax dollars going to something like this. Ultimately poor people do not need a computer. Its best that this project is self sustaining even if that have to bump up their profit margin.

Reply Score: 1

I want one
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:29 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

I want one to use as a e-book.

I currently use a Clie SJ30 which is pretty damn good (using Palm Fiction) but if the next model of these is supposed to have an e-ink (e-paper?) screen, it would be awesome.

Specially with the crank since it would mean I can load it with a few dozens of books and go anywhere.

I would pay $150 for one such thing :-(

Reply Score: 0

not really an analysis
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:33 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

not an analysis really... more an opinion without any fundament...

Reply Score: 0

Models for sale
by leos on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:45 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

I don't quite understand why they don't make an adult model and sell it. Just make it black or silver, and sell it for 150 or 200. I would totally buy one for that price and they can still be not for profit and use the money to cut the prices for the kids' models. Everyone wins, no?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Models for sale
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:53 UTC in reply to "Models for sale"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

It will happen. Mr Negroponte has said he is not against it. However imagine what would happen to the 1,000 dollars models...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Models for sale
by BlackJack75 on Fri 18th Nov 2005 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Models for sale"
BlackJack75 Member since:
2005-08-29

Well it's not the same target market I guess. 1 GB storage? Anyone willing to store his family's photos will want more.

However for all the people who do _NOT_ want a computer. But just need the basic web, e-mail, eventually confortable e-books, that would be just perfect.

Reply Score: 1

Profits and Why
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 16:56 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

You ask why would they want to sell me a $100 notebook. Competition is the answer. They'd like to sell it to you for $5000 but they can't because nobody will buy it. So unless you get massive collusion you sell it for $100 because if you don't you go out of business. The only people remaining are selling for $100.

These aren't your typical laptop. Tiny screens, running linux(not that there's anything wrong with that), etc. so they're not going to be in demand in non 3rd world countries.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Profits and Why
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:03 UTC in reply to "Profits and Why"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"These aren't your typical laptop. Tiny screens, running linux(not that there's anything wrong with that), etc. so they're not going to be in demand in non 3rd world countries."

That remains to be seen. Let's not forget the fashion and novelty factors. Plus there are *plenty* of kids in so called wealthier countries who can't afford a computer.

Reply Score: 1

Speculation and scepticism...
by Tuishimi on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:02 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...large companies generally have a record of giving back to the surrounding community or special projects. DEC used to give away lots of old mainframes to universities and sell newer ones for less. Even Microsoft gives back tons of $$$ to Redmond and to charities, etc.

Yeah, it can be seen as "good business", but is that how you walk around thinking all day long. People aren't all good, but they aren't all bad either.

When I moved South, I had a ton of heavy coats/jackets that I didn't need. I could have sold them at a garage sale, or consigned them... but I brought them to a charitable organization so that someone who REALLY needed a coat could HAVE one for free.

Yeah, someday the big companies will profit from this, but do you really think some extremely poor kid in Zimbabwe, after using this free laptop, is going to scrimp and save and buy a new iBook???

If it profits the major companies it will not be for decades.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Speculation and scepticism...
by wylde342 on Fri 18th Nov 2005 18:51 UTC in reply to "Speculation and scepticism..."
wylde342 Member since:
2005-08-12

Nice. I will one up you though and say that I think people are simply afraid to be good.

Reply Score: 1

angry misinformed rant more than "new"
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:15 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

This is just some crack pot with a computer. He asks when has google even done anything for humanity? What about the summer of code. Wasn't that about $2 million payed out for students to develop more open source software?
And I honestly doubt redhat will ship a stripped down OS on this. Fedora is free in all it's glory. The only reason to strip it down is because of system restraingts, not licensing or money or what ever.
The auther has clearly done 0 research. Why do we give time on news sites to opinio writers. Especailly bad possibly angery/deranged ones who have done no work/research and jsut spouted off an random misinformed opinion?

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
---

People seem to assume that only thing a kid in Congo needs is a computer and he will be instantly online. Wake up guys, it's a good step but it won't bring everybody online. Does anyone know if and how much they can afford to pay for internet service?

Reply Score: 0

Conspiracy theories and critics
by Hands on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:16 UTC
Hands
Member since:
2005-06-30

I can't believe the kinds of conspiracy theories that I have read associated with this laptop. The critics of the project amaze me as well. Negroponte has already piloted this idea with conventional laptops on a much smaller scale. The results were promising. That is why he would like to get it going on a large scale. The best way to do that is to make the laptop as affordable as possible without sacrificing too much functionality (and actually adding some unconventional functionality like the crank).

Mr. Negroponte has stated that the only failure of this project would be if the laptop cost $142.07 and was six months late (paraphrased). He isn't willing to accept a complete failure of the project because he believes in the potential of education with technology. There are many others who are very enthusiastic about this project including several sovereign nations. People and organizations are getting behind the project because it addresses a problem that is real.

The article isn't worth much other than to express the cynical opinions of the author.

Reply Score: 1

Motive behind this article: Stupidity
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:38 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

This is a completely worthless and uninsightful commentary. The mention of Apple is pointless as the offer of free copies of OS X was rejected, and the motive behind this project is obviously not profit. Providing this type of technology to people who previously had no access to computers or the internet could be huge. Imagine people able to communicate via a wireless grid network in a place where they may not have even had phones.

Reply Score: 0

Yeah...uhm
by Gunblade on Fri 18th Nov 2005 17:45 UTC
Gunblade
Member since:
2005-07-21

I feel like anyone could have written this article.

All it was is, why he thinks the company invested in such a project and he completely conflicts his ideas when he talks about Apple and RedHat....the idea that those companys are funding the project to "thwart windows'" is stupid. I mean while writing about RedHat did he forget what he just wrote about Apple? The two are going to compete for the OS on the laptop? Thats the conclusion one would come to after reading the article.

Anyways, it's plain and simple why the project got funding from those companys. To further their image, and EDUCATION.

Reply Score: 1

zeos386sx
Member since:
2005-07-18

the author of this article needs to grow up, if he is just now realising that companies use generosity to improve t heir image and sell more product. the bottom line is that a bunch of kids that would have otherwise never been able to afford a computer will be given one for free.

on a side note is it just me or is that second page a rambling pile of nonsense. at first apple is trying to indoctrinate kids into the os x cult; leading the reader to beleive that the author hasnt been keeping up with current events. then in the paragraph about red hat he lets the reader know that he has been keeping up by contradicting his apple paragraph by insinuating that red hat is trying to sell rhel to grade schoolers. i dont have any figures, but if i had to guess i would say that the number of kids in a given elemetary school that grow to administer enterprise level servers and workstations is fairly low.

if i had to describe this article in one word, that word would be incoherent; but i prefer to describe it in sentence form. this article seems to be the ramblings of a child who was raised by pessimistic hippies who instilled a sense of fear towards capitalism and his fellow man. i mean a six year old could have written this article, except that a six year old would have written a little more coherently.

Edited 2005-11-18 19:04

Reply Score: 1

So let me get this straight...
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Nov 2005 19:59 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

You expect the same places that steal food designated for starving villagers, and who instead give it to their armies or to their local party watchdogs or other party loyalists to simply allow these computers to be passed out so that these children may gain access to information about freedom and self-government or possibly to those who may use them to organize and pass information so that they may create mass demonstrations against their non-represenatational governments?

$100 says these will wind up on ebay via hongkong, or on any blackmarket as soon as they are passed out and the UN leaves the area, and night rolls in.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So let me get this straight...
by JLF65 on Sat 19th Nov 2005 07:17 UTC in reply to "So let me get this straight..."
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

$100 says these will wind up on ebay via hongkong, or on any blackmarket as soon as they are passed out and the UN leaves the area, and night rolls in.

And if the local stooges don't steal them, the kids will be selling them for the price of a sack of rice. What's more important to them - living another week, or some stupid hand-out from foreigners?

It's a nice idea, but completely unrealistic for third-world countries. It's like handing out chocolate bars to starving people.

Reply Score: 1

Competition
by BlackJack75 on Fri 18th Nov 2005 22:52 UTC
BlackJack75
Member since:
2005-08-29

As long as there is a lot of competition between the companies willing to build this little toy for under 100$, no one will be making so huge profits.

Of course if you build the machine at 90$ cost and sell it at 100$ and make millions of units, you'll be making money. Now you can't just ask everyone to work for free, otherwise they just won't do it.

Reply Score: 1

Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find many of the comments here strange.

First, remember a company call Commodore? Used to sell a machine called the C64 for less than $100 each. It shipped millions. No, I am not talking about the time the C64 cost more than $100 each, I am talking about the time after where Commodore made profits on a machine costing less than $100 each.

The later failure of the company can be traced to management not sales. The company I worked for was selling Commodore machine at a discount for months after they went bankrupt.

Remember the hand-cranked radio for Africa? If the PBS shows are to believed there are 100,000s of them in Africa today, but guess what you will see if you go to your local alternative energy store or come to one of the regional Cottage Shows or Sportsman? Yes, people with thousands of dollars to spend buying these radios because when you are up North and get stuck in a major storm this is not time to find out the batteries are alll dead.

Remember the hand-cranked flashlight? Same thing again.

Maybe things are diffirent here in Canada?

Personally, like someone else said - I would love to have one of these things even as just an e-book reader as I get most of my stuff in HTML when I go to the cabin. I am always worried about the boat swamping with my $800 laptop - my friends with thier $2000 and $3500 laptops almost never carry them up North it is too easy to have an accident.

A $100 laptop, is great for fun and you don't worry the same. It is pocket change if you have a good job.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
---

Hey, those hand cranked radios are $39 bucks... how much do you think a hand cranked laptop will cost?

Please all, get real... it won't happen, at least for a few years at least. Most likely in 10 years we may *all* have to use such equipment :-)

Reply Score: 0

Why is this on OS News
by Anonymous on Sat 19th Nov 2005 02:50 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Why did this stupid article make it on OS News? Who is this stupid author? Why did this article suck so much?

Reply Score: 0