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Intel to develop and sell basic notebook

June 6th, 2007 . by Matt

Intel will develop a basic notebook that will compete with the OLPC notebook designed for Children in developing countries. The OLPC project has spawned many other similar projects designed to bridge the “digital divide”, like the new Intel notebook under development, and the “Municator”.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, is planning to mass market a $199 (£99.70) notebook computer.

It has teamed up with Asustek Computer, the Taiwanese circuitboard maker, as it competes with the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC) to gain a foothold in a potentially huge market.

Last month the OLPC foundation, set up by Nicholas Negroponte, a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, near Boston, announced plans to produce an initial batch of three million $176 laptops for sale from October in the developing world.

Roger Kay, the president of Endpoint Technologies, the consultancy, said: “Computer companies are lining up to get into the developing world because they have sold their first billion PCs and they are now looking to the next billion.

“Initially, they will make very low margins, but manufacturing costs are going down all the time, while many of the countries are getting wealthier, and so the manufacturers are looking to build their brand loyalty now in preparation.”

Mr Kay added that, although the average household income of the second billion potential PC owners is only $5,000, many parents are prepared to spend a disproportionate amount on a computer in the belief that it will improve their children’s prospects.

Intel said that it planned several models, to be marketed under the Asustek brand, with 7in to 10in screens and a “lower-end” microprocessor.

The most expensive is expected to sell for about $500.

The computers would compete with the green-and-white plastic, child-friendly XO laptops made by the OLPC, which numbers Google, eBay and News Corporation, parent company of The Times, among its backers.

The XO runs on the Linux operating system and uses a microprocessor made by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

However, Microsoft is also aiming to tap the market and is developing a $3 Windows package that is being tested on the XO machines.


3 Responses to “Intel to develop and sell basic notebook”


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  2. comment number 2 by: James

    Expect 419 scam e-mails to increase dramatically in the next few years, as millions of poor people in the third world are given cheap access to computers they can use to trick dumb first world people out of their money…


  3. […] Updating this post, some of the specifications of the $199 notebook have been revealed at a computer show. Asustek Computer’s $199 Eee PC is turning out to be one of the stars at Computex 2007, grabbing attention for its small size and even smaller price. […]