Microsoft To Answer The $100 Laptop With Mobile Phones
from the anything-you-can-do-they-think-they-can-do-better dept
The decision by Nicholas Negroponte to use open-source software in his $100 laptop for the world’s poor instead of a special version of Windows CE ruffled some feathers at Microsoft, with Bill Gates described as being “privately bitter” about it. It upset them enough that the company is now working on its own similar project to get poor people online with mobile phones that have keyboards and adapters so they could be connected to TVs, with Microsoft saying that it’s a better and more sustainable idea than laptops. It’s not really clear that one solution is better than the other: on the face of it, giving people a computer might appear more useful, but there are plenty of examples of people using mobile phones for economic empowerment. The danger, though, is that the benefits of both ideas take a back seat to some sort of ego-driven battle over whose approach is best. The bottom line here should be to help people, not to create a giant PR platform for your company’s products.