Bill Gates mocks $100 laptop

— 11:07 AM on March 16, 2006

Following in the footsteps of Intel's Craig Barrett, who called the $100 laptop a gadget last year, Bill Gates has openly mocked the device. The $100 laptop is an MIT project sponsored in part by Google, and it runs a variant of Red Hat Linux on an AMD Geode GX500 processor. Gates stigmatized the device's small screen and lack of hard disk-based storage:

"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," Gates said at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in suburban Washington.

"If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, 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," Gates said.

While Gates raises some interesting points, it's worth mentioning that the $100 Laptop project is also known as One Laptop per Child—it wasn't designed to be shared. The hand crank is also designed as a backup for environments without electricity, and the device features 802.11b Wi-Fi connectivity for Internet access.
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