Feeds

Gates mocks Negroponte's $100 laptop

Why pay less when you can pay more?

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Bill Gates has mocked the $100 Linux-based, wind-up powered PC which is being pitched by MIT media lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte at developing markets.

In a move unlikely to endear the world's richest man to PC users in either the developed or the developing nations. Gates advised them to "get a decent computer" that offered a decent screen, a broadband connection and isn't powered by a wind-up handle.

Shortly before his reported comments, Gates - speaking at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in Washington - had been extolling the latest Windows powered machines costing up to $1,000.

"Hardware is a small part of the cost" of providing a PC, he noted, adding that the biggest costs come from network connectivity, support, and, er, applications.

Bill should know. The planned Microsoft Office Professional 2007 will be priced at $499 while the "budget" Office Home and Student 2007 comes in at $149. Then there's the price of the operating system. Microsoft has not yet released pricing for its next Windows client, however Window XP retails for several hundred dollars.

Combined, Windows and Office kill the $100 PC's value proposition for OEMs and users. That said, Microsoft did tackle the "value" concept itself in recent years when it reluctantly introduced stripped down, Starter Editions of Windows XP in Brazil, Russia and South East Asia in response to certain government-sponsored "peoples' PCs" programs developed using Linux. It is also understood to take a more flexible approach to pricing on its full strength products in some developing countries.

Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, outlined his plans for the $100 PC last year. The wind-up devices, targeted at children in developing nations, feature a 500Mhz processor, 1Gb of memory and dual-mode color or black and white display that can be read in direct sunlight.

Negroponte expects to develop between 100m and 150m units by 2007 working with Google, AMD, Red Hat and Brightstar.

Gates is reported to have said of this collaborative effort: "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."

Otherwise, why bother? ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.