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USAToday - Bill Gates mocks MIT's $100 laptop


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USAToday - Bill Gates mocks MIT's $100 laptop
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:40 pm EST, Mar 17, 2006

OH this pisses me off to no end...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Microsoft Corp. 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. 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.

Hmmm... are we a TAD jealous, Bill? Are we a little bitter that legions of children will grow up learning to compute on something OTHER than Windows?

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

But of course! Competition. You just can’t sleep at night knowing you don’t control every aspect of people’s lives, (just 95% of us) can you? The open source community’s accusations that you are nothing short of a money-grubbing, power hungry BASTARD can’t be that far off mark, huh? Too bad this is an instance where you clearly have ZERO influence. Its eating away at you, isn’t it?

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

OK, apparently Mr. Money Bags doesn't understand the concept of the $100 "One Laptop per Child" initiative. Or maybe he does and is frustrated because he knows he can’t compete. Maybe if he's going to piss and moan because his precious monopoly is in jeopardy, maybe he ought to, oh I donno... dip into his OWN pockets and make his own offering at a comparable price point - even if he has to loose money. Ya know - like he did with XBox??? The whole idea is to keep these things as inexpensive as possible, and here he is with his OWN offering that’s six to ten times more expensive? Hmmm… You willing to “eat” the losses Billy Boy? Put up or SHUT up.

"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.

OK, maybe he IS just stupid sometimes. The reason they don't have a hard drive is to (A) conserve power (these things are going to get charged by a hand crank) and (B) to keep the price point where governments can order these things affordably en masse (like millions of units). Far short of a “dumb terminal”, and humble when compared against the average desktop PC today, but quite adequate and capable for the task at hand – getting a computer into the hands of every school-aged child on the planet.

The reason they have a small LCD is, again, price point. Maybe someone of your financial status can afford a 5,000” LCD, Gates. The goal is to give these kids a useable machine – not an optimal computing experience.

Re: support? The whole initiative only works if they follow the KISS principal. And supporting these things directly in the field is going to be rather difficult in many instances. Or does Microsoft now do on-site service calls to the middle of the Congo??

Any sliver of respect I had for you due to your philanthropist activities are gone. That’s all nothing but a thinly veiled smoke screen to make you look good (and of course, serve as a tax shelter).


USAToday - Bill Gates mocks MIT's $100 laptop

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