Cross posted at Chennai Today.
MIT launched the $100 laptop (OLPC ) programme touted to be a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children.
…will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband..
Microsoft Chairman, Gates had rubbished it then, asking them to "get a decent computer" that offered a decent screen, a broadband connection and isn't powered by a wind-up handle. He also said that these days hardware costs have come down very well and that it is the software that is costing people more. Microsoft also introduced XP Starter editions in developing countries for reducing the price.Probably, he was hinting that they will have an alternative. Now, they have it.
Microsoft has teamed up with Lenovo and a few other companies to offer a PC for about half its original price and to pay off the balance by purchasing prepaid cards. Much like, the car leasing schemes/mobile phone recharge systems these days.
Called FlexGo, the system requires customers to buy prepaid cards according to their usage which would mean people with lesser means can constrain their computer usage as their means require them to. The computer becomes inoperational if the recharge is not done. After paying off the entire price, it becomes their own and they would no longer be required to recharge.
The market trials will be started in China, Brazil and India starting in another three months with mid market Lenovo PCs. The security technology for consumer subscription has been provided by Infineon, the semiconductor major.