Back on the first of October, I blogged on the $100 laptops that MIT is developing with support from Google, RedHat Linux and AMD. Wired reports that Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett is not impressed:
“Mr. Negroponte has called it a $100 laptop — I think a more realistic title should be ‘the $100 gadget’,” Barrett, chairman of the world’s largest chipmaker, told a press conference in Sri Lanka on Friday. “The problem is that gadgets have not been successful.”
Mr. Barrett’s a smart man – at least so one would assume based on his position. I’d love to see the research behind his statement. How many people in the developing world has he discussed this with – potential users of the “gadget” developed at MIT’s Media Lab under Nicholas Negroponte?
Imbi and I have had the pleasure of teaching in the developing world, on a number of occasions. Our mature students would love the laptop. Right now they have…let’s see…well actually they have nothing. Internet cafés are their only access to computers – at rates they can ill afford.
There’s no doubt they’d love a fully loaded, 3+Ghz Wintel platform – and when Mr. Barrett makes one available for them at $100, they’ll snap them up. But right now it sounds a little like sour grapes as the laptops don’t have Intel Inside.
UPDATE: Trevor Hall, at Servant Leadership Blog has a different take on this which is worth reading.