And what if OLPC was not the right product?

Intel demo-ed a rival to the One Laptop per Child (OLPC); the Edu Wise Educational Notebook is almost certainly based on the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) model and is platform agnostic.

It has been presented in Brazil in one of its laboratories. However, the Bill of Materials, the actual cost of making the product, is expected to be at least thrice that of the OLPC.

However, all the recent debates about whether the OLPC is a suitable candidate for bringing information technology to the rest of the world have turned me from a preacher to a neo-sceptic.

It has nothing to do with the OLPC itself. It is actually a concept that is being marketed rather than an actual product. What bugs me is that mobile phones constitute an already tried and tested platform.

Some companies like Motorola are promising to bring phone prices to a new low thanks to projects like the Ultra Low Cost mobile spearheaded by the GSM Association.

Whether producing cheap technology for the third world will end up as an end in itself rather than a means to end is something that I will be observe attentively.