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Bill Gates Mocks Mit's $100 Laptop Project

The Highlander

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on Wednesday mocked a $100 laptop computer for developing countries being developed with the backing of rival Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The $100 laptop project seeks to provide inexpensive computers to people in developing countries. The computers lack many features found on a typical personal computer, such as a hard disk and software.


"The last thing you want to do for a shared use computer is have it be something without a disk ... and with a tiny little screen," Gates said at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in suburban Washington.


"Hardware is a small part of the cost" of providing computing capabilities, he said, adding that the big costs come from network connectivity, applications and support.


Before his critique, Gates showed off a new "ultra-mobile computer" which runs Microsoft Windows on a seven-inch (17.78-centimeter) touch screen.


Those machines are expected to sell for between $599 and $999, Microsoft said at the product launch last week.


"If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type," Gates said.


Gates described the computers as being for shared use, but the project goes under the name "One Laptop per Child." A representative for the project did not immediately reply to an inquiry seeking comment.


Earlier this year, Google founder Larry Page said his company is backing MIT's project. He showed a model of the machine that does use a crank as one source of power.


"The laptops ... will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data," according to the project's Web site.

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Doesn't seem Mr. Gates sees much difference between $100 and $1000.


Since his math is good enough to get him where he is, I doubt it is because of a difficulty understanding the decimal difference.


He should try working for the wages available places like rural Latin America and see if he still has trouble differentiating between $100 and $1000.



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Guest mlpasley

..... get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type," Gates said.



Sounds like he's getting 'old eyes'. As I understand it, these $100 computers are aimed at increasing the educational opportunities for students.


Hasn't he seen the tiny little text that kids are using on cell phones to text message each other? I have trouble just entering the text with those tiny little buttons, but the kids operate them at lightening speed.


I'll bet the kids will be able to type, crank, and surf all at the same time. :)

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And you would think Billy would be rubbing his hands together, and getting in on the sales side....

And the OS from microsoft will cost $125 (NZD) before you add the office ect....


Computer $100

Windows XP Home $125

Office 2003 Standard Academic $158

Total $383



Computer $100

Free Lynix OS $0

Open Office $0

Total $100

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