The $100 dollar computer

MIT's $100 dollar computer is beginning to take shape. The idea is to create a computer that is affordable for virtually everyone in the world, and does not have the power-hogging and environmental requirements that work fine in air conditioned homes and businesses but that are entirely unsuitable for use in rural villages without reliable electric power.

What baffles me is why this was not developed years ago by a major computer manufacturer. Those companies, with the exception of Apple, don't seem capable of thinking beyond the ends of their noses. They have decided consistently to ignore a market of several billion computer users to chase after a much smaller market of just a few hundred million users.

The $100 computer will unleash tremendous creativity, and will create incredible opportunities for developing and marketing software. Users of $100 computers will jump on Open Source software, but there will be plenty of room for commercial software as well, but priced quite differently than software is now. Instead of trying to sell, say, 50,000 copies of a piece of software for $100 (grossing $5,000,000), imagine selling 300 million copies of software for twenty-five cents (do the math). If there are, say, 3 billion computer users, going after 10% market share is not unreasonable.

One more thing....I wrote out the specs for this $100 computer almost eight years ago, and published it in the BEV Briefing Book. MIT's computer is eerily similar; perhaps great minds think alike. The original article is below as a PDF.

PDF icon Hundred_dollar_computer_v2.pdf1.58 MB

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