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OLPC + Google = Google PC?

For some reason, I can’t get my mind off the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) "One Laptop per Child" project, which is probably one of the most ambitious ever computer projects ever, dwarfing even Mr. Itanium.

But now the LA Times is reporting that Google is in discussions with retail giant Wal-Mart to launch its own Google PC.

Is it a mere coincidence that Google is one of the benefactors of the MIT’s "One Laptop per Child" project or does this perhaps give a hint about what might happen next? Several million of these $100 MIT laptops are scheduled to start shipping later this year and Microsoft is nowhere in sight.

My bet is that Google is going to rebrand some of them and sell them as a Google PC, complete with a Google operating system. It’s not rocket science to see what will happen next. Google is taking Microsoft head on - Google Office, Google Operating System and of course, as home page. A first world version is bound to be a hit with quite a few geeks.

I would definitely buy one of them, if they were to be priced at say £99. If a Google PC is to be based on the MIT’s laptop it would probably be a beefed up version, without the handle but with a power socket and most importantly, a smallish hard disk drive.

With a screen much larger than say a Video iPod, you can bet that newspapers are going to get some pretty rough competition. Who knows, Google might even give them away free, provided you give your details and subscribe with Google Wireless Broadband.

It’s starting to make sense now, isn’t it? I wouldn’t mind reading my next Metro from this kind of screen.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.