MIT laptop gets thumbs down from Gates

A laptop developed by MIT which will cost $100 and specially developed for third world countries has been rubbished by Bill Gates.

Gates said, “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,” at the Microsoft Government Leaders forum in Washington.

He said, “Hardware is a small part of the cost” of providing computing capabilities, and added that the high costs come from network connectivity, applications and support.

The MIT laptop was developed with the backing of Google and the UN. These laptops are seen as a way of providing low cost computers to people in developing countries.

Gates said, “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.”

These comments were made by Gates as he unveiled the new Microsoft powered Ultra Mobile PC at the CeBit trade fair last week.

One reason for the snippy remarks was that MIT turned down the offer of having their computers powered by Microsoft Windows. The MIT laptop will instead be powered by Linux.