THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT has cooked up a $35 touchscreen laptop pitched at students.
The low cost device, which naturally runs Linux, is being readied for production with India's human resource development minister Kapil Sibal saying, "The motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything."
While $35 is pretty impressive, even for a nation that is known for cutting costs, according to Sibal the aim is to bring the cost down to just $10. While the minister pointed out that the system would have many of the same amenities found on more expensive machines, he also mentioned that the hardware was designed to accept new components should users' needs change.
It seems the Indian government felt it was necessary to go it alone, even with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and Intel's Classmate on the market. Those machines do cost significantly more and given the growing technological prowess of India, it's little surprise that a home grown design is about to outdo more mature rivals.
Sibal said that the Indian government is looking for hardware manufacturers to make its design a reality. µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home