Microsoft Leader Disses $100 Laptop Project

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates last week made fun of a project that seeks to supply poor and developing nations with inexpensive $100 laptops, presumably because his company was shut out of the project because Windows is too expensive. "The last thing you want a shared-use computer to be is something without a disk ... and with a tiny little screen," Gates said, apparently missing the irony of the fact that Microsoft just announced its Ultra-mobile PC platform for devices that feature tiny screens. Those machines, however, will retail for $800 to $1000, a far cry from MIT's $100 laptop project. Gates continued, "If you're going have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geeze, 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." Hey, if anyone understands computing in developing nations, it must be the world's richest man

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