When I heard the plan of MIT's Media Lab to produce the $100 dollars laptops for Third World nations, I thought it was a great plan to get computers into the hands of children the world over. With the new plan to launch the program in
Having been born in
The commitment of the Thai government to purchase of 1 million units of the $100 laptops in the first year is welcome news. The project will, of course, expand to other nations as well. The puzzling element to this news is why the Indian government is not already jumping on as a participant of this testing phase. If there is a country that will need these laptops, it should be a country like
One final thing that I would like to comment on is how nice that these laptops will house the open source Linux operating system. There were rumors awhile back that the project might give in to Microsoft and use their proprietary Windows Mobile. Shameful on Microsoft for suggesting that a “real” computer needs to run their own operating system, and that their mobile computing devices are the right candidates for usable computers. These devices, of course, comes at a price several times higher, counter the very core idea of inexpensive machines that can be rolled out on massive scale.
With Linux in place as the OS of choice for this project, perhaps there will be a side-effect of having a whole new generation of kids who will not think that using something proprietary like Windows is the only way to run a computer. So perhaps the next time I visit
$100 laptops to debut with Thai kids