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03/17/2006 05:38 AM ID: 53388 Permalink   

$100 Laptop Not Good Enough for Gates


Bill Gates has publicly derided the compact laptop that is the focus of MIT's 'One Laptop per Child' initiative at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in Washington.

Gates critiqued the $100 laptops lack of a hard disk, and small screen, as well as the cranking mechanism that can be used to charge the laptop's battery, claiming the text would be hard to read, and that users would be required to crank while typing.

Bill Gates comments followed a demonstration of Microsoft's own portable "ultra-mobile" computer, which includes a 7 inch touch screen. Microsoft revealed that the unit is expected to sell for between $599 and $999 at a recent product launch.

    WebReporter: lauriesman Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  Of course  
Bill incorrectly states that the $100 laptop is for shared use - though this has never been a design feature. No agenda there though, I'm sure.

Hmmm lets see.. buy 6 $100 laptops for students, or 1 $599 laptop...
  by: lauriesman     03/17/2006 05:40 AM     
  At least Bill is trying something new  
Usually he just steals a product, buries the true owner in litigation, and if he still won't go away eventually pays the true owner out for a fraction of what he was due. I'm not sure why he has deviated from this usual practice since it has always worked in the past.
  by: emanruson   03/17/2006 06:29 AM     
the point of the $100 laptop is to help kids/students in developing countries, no profit in that for Bill..
  by: StarShadow     03/17/2006 10:56 AM     
  You're forgetting  
that his biggest rival, Google, is helping develop the product. That's why he's mocking the items.
  by: vanillaskye   03/17/2006 02:20 PM     
  I would say to Bill,  
"Until you give your $600 laptop away for free to people in need, shut the hell up."
  by: lurker     03/17/2006 02:31 PM     
  You've got to admire  
Bill's spirit though. If it's not good for me monetarily, why not belittle it? Of course a $599 unit will have better features than a $100 one. Nobody needs that pointed out to them. The $100 laptop was a good idea IMO.
  by: banshee9898     03/17/2006 03:54 PM     
  Gates is very charitable  
He is the worlds biggest charity donator by a factor of three. He has pledged to give away 90% of his wealth to charity. His charity foundation is already worth 17 billion dollars.
  by: Rappy   03/17/2006 04:16 PM     
It's funny that he is dissing the 100 dollar laptop on not having a hard drive yet there are numerous Windows CE based devices that don't have hard drives either and have only ~32 or so megs of storage in RAM on average. Not to mention they all cost at least 250 and go all the way up to 800 USD. I'm sure a 100 dollar laptop could easily be made by MS & friends, running Windows CE, having a decent looking touch screen, etc. but they just don't want to. Is funny because of how he gives to charity it almost makes you feel like he is a good guy and then he says something like this.
  by: treyjazz   03/17/2006 04:21 PM     
"I'm sure a 100 dollar laptop could easily be made by MS & friends, running Windows CE, having a decent looking touch screen, etc. but they just don't want to."

--They can't do that when they charge $150 for the software.

sorry, had to take the oppertunity to bitch about how much that bastard charges for windows.
  by: testeng     03/17/2006 06:32 PM     
Yeah I know licensing of the OS is a lot of what you pay for with Windows CE devices. But if MS was a partner in manufacturing them and the goal was to keep the costs low so they could be paid by sponsors and given to the poor then MS wouldn't need to take any money for it because it's just code and doesn't cost anything to reproduce, just to have the chips that contain it.

Hope I didn't ruin your bitching. ;)
  by: treyjazz   03/17/2006 07:49 PM     
  the worlds ultimate ironic picture would be...  
Bill Gates doing serious business on a Mac.
  by: hotrock11     03/17/2006 09:26 PM     
Yeah, when he is dead. Sure he contributes hugely now - but he also still goes around cushing lives and breaking the law, without any indication of ethics or morals.

Why Gates hates the $100 laptop
1: It's sponsored by Google
2: It runs on a modified linux distro
3: It doesn't use or require any MS software
4: It will be available enmass to third world countries who will grow up never having been locked into MS software, and therefore immune to MS's forced upgrade tactics
6: It doesn't make him money
7: It's cheaper than his own product
  by: lauriesman     03/17/2006 09:51 PM     
Very well said, those seven reasons are very true IMO
  by: anony-chan   03/17/2006 11:47 PM     
  The Real Question is "Why do they Need a Laptop"  
The real question here is why do they need a laptop? To do their homework assignments, download porn off the internet?

A lot of the kids they're trying to help are little more than toddlers. They really don't have a need for a computer and if they did, they could snag a couple of nice laptops from Walmart for $500 [Sempron 2.5ghz,60gb hdd, etc.] and simply take turns using it. All they would need would be a fairly consistant power support to charge it every evening and little else.

I personally can't see them using it all that much. I used a laptop in college and all I used it for was research [internet] and typing/printing out killer reports...thats about it. You don't need anything fancy for that. An old Pentium II laptop sporting linux can handle that without a hitch.
  by: FreakKeeper     03/18/2006 01:46 AM     
  you can get..  
.. pretty decent last-gen laptops for $250 or so (basically email and basic app capable). Gate's $699 one will probably be down in this range after a year or two.

I'm picking up a cheapo 600mghz laptop for my car. $200 bucks new. Going to install a GPS add-on for it that interfaces with an offline map program. Pretty sweet combo at a far, far cheaper price than those intergrated GPS mapping devices cars have nowdays, and no subscription fee to boot. Trying to to engineer an arm to attach the laptop to so I can fold it out of sight when not needed, or bring out to face the driver or passenger when in use.
I've getting

  by: Dedolito     03/18/2006 02:00 AM     
I don't think there are any WalMart stores in the middle of Nowhere, Africa or Nowhere, South America. The $500 dollar WalMart laptop you mentioned would probably be 10 years of salary for some people in these regions. The laptops are going to be sold to the governments of foreign countries (or sponsored by charitable donations) and then dispersed to poor children of those nations. It isn't just for the poor in America. The laptops will have wifi but I doubt they will have many hotspots to 'go online and look at porn'.
  by: treyjazz   03/18/2006 04:20 AM     
  treyjazz: Like they can afford a $100 laptop?  
The point is, for starters, they have more pressing issues that surfing the internet. And as for price, a couple of decent laptops for $500 per classroom is CHEAPER than buying an entire classroom a $100 laptop. Last but not least, how do you think they're going to get the $100 laptops in BULK? They have no Walmart or what ever...That same why they can get the $500 ones ;-)
  by: FreakKeeper     03/18/2006 06:15 AM     
It's not about surfing the Internet. It's about being able to have access to information and being able to learn as much as many of us in more privilaged countries do. It is hard to be able to get out of poverty if you can't find a decent job because you were never taught much in school. Many of the children who will receive these laptops have parents who make only a few dollars a month. Why do you seem so against this? Sure if there are more than 10 kids in a class they could share 2 laptops amongst all the kids for cheaper but the point is that each and every of them will have their own laptop that they can take home and study with and sharing them impedes the learning they are meant for. Not to mention there probably aren't a lot of electrical outlets in grass huts, etc. so the hand crank would come in handy... As I mentioned before, the money is coming from the governments and I'm sure sponsors are chipping in in place of governments who can't cover the costs.
  by: treyjazz   03/18/2006 06:41 AM     
  Easy solution for Bill Gates:  
You feel this laptop isn't good enough? Well, take
out a million, donate your products to a third world
country, and let us Americans (and others) know:
you still run things!

Like any kid is going to need that Oragomi thingy
he just came out

BILLY??? Nobody should have to pay near 100 for
Word, that's ludicrus.
  by: hotrock11     03/18/2006 06:56 AM     
  @freakkeaper, hotrock  
FreakKeeper - the idea is that the kids can use these laptops in lieu of paper and textbooks. The majority of text books will be PDF's, work can be typed up and submitted, and it can handle pretty much all their needs. One of the biggest expenses for schools is paper based resources such as text books. It is also one of the biggest expenses for a student.

These laptops are designed to run for years - durable design, crank charging mechanism etc. A very cost effective bonus to any 3rd world countries education system.


If you think that is bad, remember he sold BASIC for $500 a pop, in 1975 (think what that equates to now) - then complained and whined because hobbiers were copying it.
  by: lauriesman     03/18/2006 02:47 PM     
Bill gates never stops. Wow, thats too funny.

100 bucks a pop will be difficult enough to comeup with for alot of places these laptops are going to go. Why increese the cost needlessly?

@freakkeaper; Freedom of knowlade and the will to use it equals true freedom. Computers are the way of the world right now. You can't even use the restroom without interfaceing with 3-4 computers (think electric, water, sewer, wage and pay calculators if your useing a public restroom)

If these people are ever to become a non-3rd world country they have to have the ability to at least step up to the plate. By giving students $100 laptops and schooling them on it we give the a chance. We, in part, teach them how and what computers can be used for, how important they can be, and give them knowladge enough to step into the "main steam". Never fear, it is not likly that these laptops will come with doom3. But for a poor child in the middle of no where to learn how to participate in the world is a good thing.
  by: coteyr2   03/18/2006 09:45 PM     
  Great idea, more please- cheap=good- M Gates wise  
It is funny that these brand new portable computers will be less expensive than old second hand marketed machines, such as the beautiful Toshiba portable computer which I am using.

This is ten years old though the model is a few years older than this, and has 2 Gigabytes storage capacity on its storage disk.

Does anyone have a web link to information for the new computer, official preferably?

My lovely machine cost just over 90 British pounds in the middle of last year, this pretty typical, maybe five pounds more than usual at the time. (Is this around 160-165 dollars?) I bought from an Ebay seller at a similar price to sell-on computer shops. And this machine needed no reconditioning at all, so it is a greatly better offer than this option, a very good and safer option though. Mine really is a premium machine of the last decade and I love it very much. As I don’t use Computer Aided Design or am not likely to use this for Desktop Publishing, there is no reason for me to buy anything better, I can upgrade anyway, and if I do find it is limiting in some way or ways (I probably will) I can then attain something more recent.) It seems to me pretty clearly though that 40 Gigabytes as standard for normal use, in a portable computer is pretty amazing. I have to say with this I hardly download musics, and I wouldn’t mind watching a video film on this machine at times, more portable and a bigger screen than bringing my portable video player as well.

Will the new cheap machines be more capable than this? I am guessing quite a bit, it seems to be the new standard. I still use the internal 28k Modem for dial-up web access, which is great for me, though I would upgrade to 56k within a while.

The speed is O.K. I generally don't need faster than 56k speed. (Sometimes it is a bit slow though, randomnly I think.)

I prefer this kind of use to how I find I use broadband connections and very large storage capacity with 40 or 50 web windows open simultaneously and a spiralling mind.

I could upgrade this machine to say 20 gigabytes of disk space, along with taking it out of its bound in amber existence of 32 MB of RAM, in total for around 80 pounds, or instead 100 pounds for 40 MB of memory provision. Though I have had no need as yet.

I am not aware of the specifications of the new best budget models. I suppose that, whatever, they similarly may be upgraded where the operators do not mind carrying in their bag an extra box, to have a wire attatched and to keep this box close to the portable computer.

I mostly wouldn't mind. Certainly I know if I had to for financial reasons, I guess like most persons I wouldn't give it a second thought, if even I would consider any uneasiness of use at all. (I did recently believe I would have to, wrongly as it turned out.)

The most important thing I wanted to say is that I and I suppose a great number of persons in "economically developed" and "developing" countries alike will appreciate not only the extra energy facility when desired, whether physically a bit taxing or not. They will also appreciate the move to sustainable, ecologically sound and self provided energy.

How long should it be, no doubt many persons are asking, before our portable computers can be powered by two or even one roll-up, double briefcase size solar panels? Not long I hope.

For the train and coach and car, and the parks and countryside. For taking camping on that afternoon where the office is too much to finish a job. For just safe use without energy which pollutes or has continuous bills.

And travel-bag sized wind propellors? Is this a good idea? I think it could be. And by all means, by the wind-up charger option just in case.

The final important thing to say of the news article only part of what may be said (I wasn't present at the comments recently):

I believe that Bill Gates was being jokingly appreciative of this foreign conception to his quality and comfort to luxury mandate and he actually did not fully think as the article title suggests here, if though jokingly, that this laptop portable computer was not good enough for him. Also he is likely to have been serious in a couple of suggestive ways. He is not likely to choose this machine when he is most likely going to be using the most humanly adapted and highly user-friendly machines available himself. But, who knows, maybe he’ll try it and like it. I think nearly fully his comment is a joke. He could well be a technology ‘models’ fanatic in private!

I think too he is a genuine fan of his own operating system. Were Mr. Gates of Detroit to say, “I really like Unix, yeah, by all means, buy them”, he wouldn’t be so wise for his company’s benefit. Mostly a fond joke though, I guess, unless set up. (Don’t discount this. One doesn’t know the circumstances or what he was actually asked, replied to, or if he believed the context was fully joking, for some possibilities.)

by: G.M.C.
  by: G.M.C.   03/23/2006 07:24 AM     
  Well it worked last time  
During the Industrial revolution, when every child in Europe was given a laptop, right?

Oh wait no.
  by: UltimateDomo   03/23/2006 03:02 PM     
  but they were given free basic education....  
At least in the Americas. In fact the western world prospered at a phenominal rate when it became compulsory for all children between 6 and 14 to attend public school, kind of like the 19th century version of the laptop. When the majority of people learned to read and write, when they undertood basic mathematical and scientific concepts. Tolerance, understanding, and acceptance of others also seemed to go hand in hand with an increase in the education level of the population.
  by: archeon of thrace   03/24/2006 05:07 PM     
  No it didnt  
On what do you base that exactly?
  by: UltimateDomo   03/24/2006 06:15 PM     
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