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The OLPC is finally there!

Flick over to and watch a few pictures of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project (opens in new tab). It is actually a working model that was demoed at a seven countries Task Force meeting. More than 500 developer boards have been shipped until now.

The OLPC uses 512MB Flash memory, out of which an expected two thirds will be freed by the time the project is finished. Several improvements to the user interface are expected to take place in the near future, including a slimmed down Instant Messaging client with the ability to chat and draw simultaneously. Now that the OLPC is off the drawing boards and into the ODM category, it is only a matter of months before Microsoft starts to develop a Windows Mobile version for it.

Ironically with the UMPC aiming so high and with the apparent failure of the Tablet PC, the OLPC remains Microsoft's best chance to flood the first world market with cheap Windows based OLPCs

The initial price of the laptops is expected to top £100, quickly falling to £50 after 24 months according to latest rumours. Surprisingly, there are people ready to pay even more than that to get the laptop. If you go to Pledgebank.com, there's a digital charity supporter called Mike Liveright who offers to purchase the $100 at $300 only if 100,000 others are willing to do so. That's basically buy one and give two free. Until now, more than 1600 people have signed up. The petition is here (opens in new tab).

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.