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A $20 Laptop?

According to Foreign Policy, India is ready to unveil a $20 laptop that could seriously undermine One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) efforts to get its technology into the hands of those on the far side of the digital divide. The Indian laptop, called Sakshat, will have 2 GB of memory and wireless connectivity to the Internet. There was quite a bit of discussion here at Berkman recently when it was announced that OLPC would lay off half of its staff, and force those that remained to take pay cuts. The Indian government also apparently refused to support the OLPC project, citing it’s costs as too high and better spent on other areas of primary and secondary education. At least for now though, OLPC may not have too much to worry about since India has yet to find a manufacturer, and this is not exactly best time to launch any new technology project. In the mean time, SMS and cell phones will most likely remain the technology of choice for the majority in the developing world, which raises the need for more innovative tools like Frontline SMS to tap into their full potential for civil society.

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4 Responses to “A $20 Laptop?”

  1. » A $20 Laptop? I&D Blog | Says:

    […] » A $20 Laptop? I&D Blog […]

  2. kiwanja Says:

    Interesting post, Bruce, on an increasingly interesting topic!

    As you rightly point out, while the ‘battle’ rages in the low-cost laptop world, it’s increasingly important to concentrate on what we can do right now, and of course much of that revolves around mobile. FrontlineSMS, which you mention, continues to make significant inroads into the grassroots NGO community, many of whom are only mildly interested in the OLPC, Intel (and now) Sakshat ‘battle’. Many need tools today to run their projects with, experiment with, fail with and to ease themselves into the potential that a digital and connected world offers.


  3. idteam Says:

    Thanks Ken–keep up the good work over there!


  4. Fosia Says:

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