Consumers Asked to Lend “$100 Laptop” Initiative A Hand

With early orders, principally from governments in developing nations, for its lime-green, crank-powered, and low-cost XO laptop computer running short of what’s needed to trigger mass production, the One Laptop Per Child project is today kicking off two initiatives that will allow paying consumers to purchase machines for the benefit of children in its target countries.

Originally envisioned as the $100 laptop, the XO now costs about $188. But starting today, consumers can purchase a machine for $200, and donate it to a child in a developing nation. To do so, go to and click the “Donate” button.

The same website has details of the second announcement—called “Give 1, Get 1.” Under this program, which runs for two weeks beginning on November 12, consumers in Canada and the U.S. will be able to buy two XOs for $399—one to keep and one that will be donated to a deserving child.

The Boston Globe has a lot of details about the project and its evolution. It cites Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the $100 laptop initiative, as acknowledging that the project has not reached the 3 million initial orders that he had previously projected would be needed to kick off mass production.

“There’s a much bigger gulf between a handshake with a head of state and a real check coming out of the treasury,” Negroponte told the Globe. “You could argue I could have been more realistic in the beginning, but if I had, I would never have done this.”

Bob is Xconomy's founder and chairman. You can email him at Follow @bbuderi

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One response to “Consumers Asked to Lend “$100 Laptop” Initiative A Hand”

  1. chico says:

    I’m soooo getting one! or should I say, two ;-)