UN supports $100 laptop

Hand-cranked, lime green, wirelessly connected, laptops would transform primary education in developing world. But where are the networks the machines would connect to?
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

Nicholas Negroponte's big idea is a $100 laptop. Today, the UN got behind the idea, AP reports.



The program aims to ship 1 million units by the end of next year to sell to governments at cost for distribution to school children and teachers.

UNDP will work with Negroponte's organization to deliver ''technology and resources to targeted schools in the least developed countries,'' the U.N. agency said in a statement.

The cheap laptop, boasting wireless network access and a hand-crank to provide electricity is expected to start shipping later this year.

The aim is to have governments or donors buy them and give full ownership to the children.

Negroponte, who is also chairman of the MIT Media Lab, has said he expects to sell 1 million of them to Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria.

The laptop will run on an open-source operating system, such as Linux, which is generally cheaper than proprietary systems such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows.

The devices will be lime green in color, with a yellow hand crank, to make them appealing to children and to fend off potential thieves.

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