Thursday, April 30, 2009

India's USD 10 Laptop - The Entire 'Story'

katie-eide-1 OLPC_XO_Laptop_2

So, this is how it all started (well some what) Indian Engineers Aiming for $10 Laptop. Then came the interesting point that India’s USD 10 laptop is actually a USD 100 laptop.

Now, this was definitely embarrassing and damage control was needed. This is when big mouths started making claims in the media that the USD 10 laptop will be made in India and will be displayed and it will be a reality, irrespective of critics, expert views and news reports to the contrary.

This was followed by a big deal being made about the much anticipated 'unveiling' of the damn thing. Rs 500 laptop display on Feb 3.

Obviously everyone was disappointed, because there really wasn't anything to unveil. Mostly, only the specifications (or the lack of) were given out. A very basic working model with those specifications would still end up costing USD 20 (as per initial claims and promises that this will be brought down).

Most interesting part was - if anyone who knows what a computer is, was to look at what is being offered here, he would definitely conclude that India’s USD 10 laptop is not a laptop after all. Oh and btw, NOW it was stated that the device would cost USD 30 (well, can't call it a laptop anymore, now can we - hence the term 'Device').

With all this noise being made about a super affordable laptop and big ball talks about the need to provide quality education to the Indian students and blaaa blaaaaaaaaa blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.. this is how they end up trying to resolve the matter. With no $10 laptop in sight, India buys 250,000 OLPCs.

And to think how much they had opposed the OLPC project in the beginning.

India shining eh... Sure.

Chak de became the anthem of the country, then Singh is King became the anthem for (at least one part of) the country. The latest is Jai Ho. I think a more appropriate one will be - Dikhaawon pe mat jaao, apni akal ladaao. Fits well and would really help if people would follow it too. At least occasionally.

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