One Laptop Per Child announces 4 million pre-orders

The $100 laptop project, One Laptop Per Child, is claiming that four developing countries have ordered 4 million laptops (one million each).

A spokesperson for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme revealed that Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina and Thailand have all tendered commitments to purchase one million Linux laptops.

The Linux-based laptops come with their own power sources (including wind-up) and offer a dual-mode display, which gives users a full-colour, transmissive DVD mode and a secondary black and white reflective and sunlight-readable display.

The computers operate at 500 MHz, about half the processor speed of commercial laptops, and will run on Linux rather than Microsoft's or Apple's operating systems as previously hoped by the two companies.

MIT plans to have units ready for shipment by the end of 2006 or early-2007. Manufacturing will begin when 5 to 10 million machines have been ordered and paid for in advance.

However not everybody is keen on the new cheap alternative. India has recently expressed concerns over the untested technology.

Earlier this year, Bill Gates rubbished the MIT $100 laptop saying:
“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”.