Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the non-profit One Laptop Per Child Project has revealed that their machines will cost 175$ and will be capable of running Windows apart from their homegrown open source operating system. Seven countries including Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand, Nigeria and Libya have shown interest in the project, but the project needs orders for 3 million machines, so that the manufacturing and distribution can proceed.
This machine run on extremely low power, includes a hand pulley for power generation, includes built-in wireless networking capabilities and a screen with indoor/outdoor reading modes. Mass production of these low cost machines are expected to begin by the end of October this year and Negroponte believes that the production cost of the machine will drop by 25 percent year-by-year, as the project unfolds.
The developers of these machines are working with Microsoft, so that Windows could run on it. Microsoft would probably give Windows Starter Edition and other productivity apps at subsidized rates to the developers of this machine.
Unfortunately for us Indians here, our government has turned down the offer saying that the idea is too immature. Even worse, officials who announced that India is not interested didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even hesitate to criticize the whole project. In my opinion, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a bad idea to provide a laptop to kids; theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll truly start learning better. As far as I know, Goa (a state in India) offers free Intel Celeron based PCs to students who complete 10th grade and students who step into Engineering, are eligible for a free Pentium 4 based PC. If that is a good idea, then why is our government so hesitant about OLPC?