__/ [ Rick ] on Friday 17 March 2006 04:55 \__
> On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 20:11:43 -0800, Larry Qualig wrote:
>> thad01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>> Just ran across the following on arstechinca...
>>> OK, so Bill Gates may not be fan of the MIT $100 laptop, but I
>>> personally can't wait to get my hands on one. I currently use my laptop
>>> mainly for writing simple documents. It is an older Sony Picturebook
>>> and has a small form factor I like, but eats batteries like crazy. The
>>> MIT gadget looks perfect for me. It runs Linux, is powerful enough to do
>>> some simple word processing and even access the net (built in wireless),
>>> and includes a hand-crank to power it. I can actually haul this think
>>> with me when I pack my camping gear on the bike and hit the wilds for a
>>> week or two (can't do that with my Picturebook).
>>> I expect this little Green machine to make quite a splash when it starts
>>> rolling off the assembly line. Not only will it bring computing power
>>> to many underdeveloped parts of the world, I expect it will become a
>>> popular starter computer for many young people in the rest of the world
>>> and be a fun project machine for geeks like me to tinker with. It will
>>> likely spawn a bunch of copy-cats and knock-offs. This has the
>>> potential to greatly raise the profile of Linux and create an entire new
>>> generation of open source enthusiasts.
>> Difficult to say for sure what will happen. But if history is any
>> indicator then it won't be the sensation you're hoping for. Cheap items
>> rarely do well in the marketplace. Time and time again we've seen that
>> people are willing to pay for quality. Cheap items (Yugo, "Generic" brand,
>> cheap beer (Iron City, Schlitz), cheap clothes, cheap sneakers, etc.)
>> simply don't sell.
>> I can think of several "cheap" items and companies that make these items
>> which have failed. I'm having a difficult time thinking of any dirt-cheap
>> products that have succeeded. But then again, I suppose there's always a
> You seem to be confusing cheap with inexpensive, which are two very
> different things.
Larry's example is somewhat improper. Here you have no intent to *save*
money. You simply need to offer something which is *affordable*. The
children of Africa have not owned a Sony Vaio, so be sure they will be happy
enough even if the computer breaks after several months (and probably
replaced by another from the production line).
The laptop cannot be named among failures like the Yugo because the US$100 is
targeted at a different population altogether.
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