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OLPC bumps prices, adds Windows capability

The $175 '$100 laptop'

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The $100 laptop at the heart of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scheme is now going to cost $175, the organisation has announced. The machine, which originally was to run its own open source operating system, will also be capable of running Windows.

OLPC is a non-profit organisation, set up by the former head of MIT's Media Lab Nicholas Negroponte, with the goal of providing children in developing nations with laptop computers. It signed a deal with Quanta Computer to produce the machines, under which Quanta would only take a $3 profit on each box it shipped.

Now, OLPC has said that Quanta has been working with Microsoft to develop a version of the machine that will run Windows. According to reports, it is likely to be the $3 version of the OS that Microsoft announced last week.

The addition of the Windows capability is not the reason for the price hike. The cost of raw materials, particularly nickel, has pushed the cost up, OLPC explained.

Negroponte originally said his organisation would start manufacturing when it had orders for between five million and 10 million laptops. Although many nations have signed on, the cash to back the orders has not been forthcoming. Despite this, Negroponte is still optimistic that production will begin this October. ®

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