One of the world’s biggest laptop PC manufacturers has signed up to the $100 (£60) laptop project to give computing access to the poor in developing countries.
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Taiwan’s Quanta has signed a deal with the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organisation, which aims to produce cheap Linux-based laptops to children of developing nations.
Quanta has been brought on board to serve as an original design manufacturer. As a result, Quanta will manufacture laptops for the project and have a big say in their final design.
The company currently already produces laptops for the likes of HP, Dell and many others.
The OLPC is backed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, which already has a research and development relationship with Quanta, so its selection is not a surprise.
Other backers of the project, aimed at narrowing a technology divide between rich and poor nations, include AMD, Google, News Corporation, Nortel Networks and Red Hat.
AMD will provide cheap processors for the machines, but main rival Intel is sceptical about the project.
Intel chairman Craig Barrett recently asserted that users in developing countries wanted full specification PCs, not stripped-down ones.
As well as running Linux, the cheap PCs will be powered by a hand-cranking device to get round the problem of a lack of electricity in many towns and villages.
The first PCs will be shipped to countries including China, India, Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria and Thailand.