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Is a $100 laptop soon to be a reality?

Three very interesting news clips cropped up this week about the $100 ‘One Laptop Per Child’ laptop which is well on track to become the world’s most ambitious open source project.

The first is that OLPC will have a Windows version (opens in new tab), although I strongly suspect that it will be a slimmed down Windows Thin Client (opens in new tab) which Microsoft will have to sell at a very low cost or even give away. Whether they like it or not, Microsoft just cannot let a potential market of 10 million users slip away without a fight.

The second worthy news is that Mr Negroponte expects that the price of the laptop will fall to $50 (opens in new tab) within three years of its introduction; which is very cheap and you can bet that Negroponte - who is working for a non profit organisation - will be keen to use his leverage to bring prices as low as possible.

The third related news is Mr. Negroponte's appeal for a slimmed down fat-free Linux calling bloated software (opens in new tab) a growing menace, using a fat person analogy. The OLPC will need a no-frill, back-to-basics Linux distribution to be able to work properly and at a reasonable speed on the $100 laptop.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

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 ITProPortal.com 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.