The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program started at MIT that had the goal of creating a $100 laptop for children in developing countries has announced an offer for donors to not only donate a machine to a child in a developing country but to get one for their own child to use. The program will be for a short time in November and is revealed here. The original $100 price-tag goal, however, has been raised to $188. And the program requires you to pay $399. for the two laptops, one going to a child in a poverty-striken area and the other to you.
This gives OLPC an opportunity to expand the distribution of the laptops throughout the world while generating excitement about them among families in the developed world. For kids interested in programming, it provides an additional opportunity for developing and testing software for the machine. Presumably a separate Linux machine would be necessary for software development; not sure.
Intel’s Classmate PC is their own attempt to inject a low-cost laptop into the developing world. Apparently Nigeria has adopted it in some of their villages because it runs Windows, which presumably will give high-school age students a better chance of getting work. That’s Intel’s claim I believe, not mine.