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.
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  1. identicon
    Justin, 30 Jan 2006 @ 8:21am

    The bottom line here should be to help people, not

    Well yes but if they don't use the PR to build their regular business, then they won't be able to absorb the cost of doing projects like this despite what good they do.

    And for all of Bill Gates willy business moves, the guy has never been afraid to share his wealth with charity. He recently gave something to the tune of $600 million for TB research.

    So if he uses the microsoft name in helping people become connected to the internet and giving them a passable "computer" than so be it.

    Really the only person I find at fault is the person who said no to a free and proven (although a bit buggy of course) OS in the name of open source.

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