Intel & A Little Unenlightened Self-Interest

kinnon —  December 11, 2005 — Leave a comment

100Usd-Laptop-3Back 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.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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