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Intel Chairman on the $100 Laptop: The Poor Want ‘Real’ Computers

$100 Laptop Prototype

The $100 laptop effort, spearheaded by MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte, has the potential to bring computers into the lives of millions of students in developing countries. However, Intel’s chairman Craig Barrett seems to be a little skeptical…

“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 chip maker, told a press conference in Sri Lanka. “The problem is that gadgets have not been successful.”

He went on to say – “It turns out what people are looking for is something that has the full functionality of a PC,” he said. “Reprogrammable to run all the applications of a grown up PC… not dependent on servers in the sky to deliver content and capability to them, not dependent for hand cranks for power. We work in the are of low cost affordable PCs, but full function PCs,” he said. “Not handheld devices and not gadgets.”

Hmmm…could it be that Barrett is a little bitter that Intel’s mortal enemy AMD got the chip contract for the project? Is he a little worried that AMD might end up being the product of choice among the millions and millions of potential consumers in developing countries?

Here is what Intel’s spokeswoman Chuck Mulloy had to say in a statement nearly one month ago – “Our view is that whatever it takes to get computer power to places where it hasn’t been before is a good thing. But there will be different flavors of these kind of devices.” So who’s opinion represents Intel’s official stance on the matter? Mulloy or Barrett?

Either way, Barrett’s wealth has blinded him to the fact that people who have probably never even seen a computer don’t give a damn whether or not it is as good as the latest Dell notebooks. Something is certainly better than nothing.

Source: Reuters

Posted by Sean


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