The idea is as audacious as it altruistic: provide a personal laptop computer to every schoolchild—particularly in the poorest parts of the world. The first step to making that happen is whittling the price down to $100. And that is the goal of a group of American techno-gurus led by Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the fabled MIT Media Lab. When he unveiled the idea at the World Economic Forum in January it seemed wildly ambitious. But surprisingly, it is starting to become a reality. Mr Negroponte plans to display the first prototype in November at a UN summit. Five countries—China, Brazil, Egypt, Thailand and South Africa—have said they will buy over 1m units each. Production is due to start in late 2006.
If countries (meaning their governments) are going to make a buying decision then it is going to be a sure waste. I will bet that Dell or some other manufacturer will come with a very low cost small PC/laptop or a totally new innovation while providing millions of jobs to third world people if only these same countries will allow investment and freedom to trade and contract.