We are getting more details about Nicholas Negroponte's " $100 windup-powered laptop targeted at children in developing nations". See a related C-Net presentation, that has absolutely gorgeous pictures of this laptop. It's truly wonderful, looks stylish, and has many thoughtful features built into it. At the end of it all, if the laptop does have all those features at such a low price, heck, I want one!
Having said that, I have to pour some cold water here. In all this excitement, we should not -- and I repeat, we should not -- lose sight of the bad aspects of Negroponte's initiative. I have already said why I think the 'laptop-for-poor-kids' meme is a bad one, and expanded on my views in my comments on Charu's post.
Finally, let me quote from the official website for this initiative:
How will these be marketed?
The idea is to distribute the machines through those ministries of education willing to adopt a policy of "One Laptop per Child." Initial discussions have been held with China, Brazil, Thailand, and Egypt. Additional countries will be selected for beta testing. Initial orders will be limited to a minimum of one million units (with appropriate financing).
Do you see, now? The idea is to sell millions of them to education ministers. If that's not stomach-churning, I have a soft-copy of 'Friday the 13th -- the 30th of September edition' that I am sure you will greatly enjoy.