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A £7 Laptop?

February 3, 2009

Indians may soon be able to buy the ultimate in credit-crunch computing – a laptop that costs only 500 rupees (£7).

The government-developed laptop is the latest in ultra-cheap engineering to emerge from the sub-continent. It is also the most ambitious attempt yet to bring the Internet to the developing world and bridge the “digital divide” between rich and poor.

India has already given the world the 100,000-rupee (£1,450) Tata Nano car and a no-frills mobile telephone that costs less than 800 rupees.

The laptop that may be sold for less than the cost of a paperback book has been more than three years in the making.

It forms part of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, India’s new scheme to boost learning in rural areas through the Internet. Government officials said that a prototype of the rudimentary computer was expected within months. K. K. Pant, a government spokesman, said: “This basic computing and Internet access device will be an extremely powerful learning tool in the hands of the country’s youth.” The machine is the country’s answer to the American One Laptop per Child project, which set out to produce a computer for $100 (£68). That high-profile venture led by the scientist Nicholas Interphone ran into problems after several companies, including the chip manufacturer Intel, refused to cooperate. As a result, the cost of Mr Negroponte’s laptop will be closer to $200.

Given the cynic that I am, is this an election ploy?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2009 4:24 pm

    Now disclosed that it’s not even a laptop…..why don’t u do a follow up post?

  2. February 7, 2009 4:55 pm

    Honestly… don’t remind me of that fiasco. Its too much of a pain 😀

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