$100 Computers

Photo by Ahmad Dan-Hamidu of deployment of the XO computer this spring in Nigeria from CNET News.

Of course, they'e not $100. That is the goal: computers cheap, simple and durable enough to put them in the hands of the poorest children in the undeveloped nations and thus bridge the digital divide. So far, lacking economies of scale, the XO computer, pictured above, comes in at $188, plus shipping.

Nicholas Negroponte, of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced the prototype at the at the Second World Summit on the Information Society and after testing, started off production of the machines November 7 with a Buy One-Get One Offer that ran through December 31.

Google signed on, as did chip maker AMD, but Microsoft and Intel balked. Then on July 13 of 2007, Intel joined the effort. For a while.

But on January 3, Intel announced it was pulling out of the deal. The sticking point: Intel had continued to push its Classmate competitor as a superior product, written about today in the New York Times and elsewhere.

More to come.