Where Africa and Technology Collide!

$100 Laptop: Bill Gates Doesn’t Get it

Reuters reports on a conversation Bill Gates had about the $100 laptop being designed by MIT for developing nations.

“If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type,” Gates said.
(read the article)

I guess it’s hard for someone who is pushing his own new Ultra-Mobile Computer, and who has a $500 Million marketing budget for his newest software, to understand this project. Also, for someone with that type of budget, I’m sure his perceptions on money are far different than your average person. Meaning he just doesn’t get it because he doesn’t understand why people wouldn’t just buy his much better computer, not realizing that his cheapest computer at $599 is an ungodly amount of money to most Africans.

Alternatively, he could just be upset because he’s been left out of this project. It’s open-source. It’s got an AMD chip, not Intel (Microsofts normal partner). It’s supported by Google, which is very much a curse word at Microsoft.

I wonder if he sees this as competition of sorts? Does a cheap, mass-produced $100 computer threaten his industry in some way?


  1. Saw the coverage of this story on Germany’s Der Spiegel …I guess he’s just jealous that he’s been left out so far.
    My 2cents on this is that Gates should donate some server pcs which could provide content like Encylopedias on a local basis (given that the laptops are connected via wlan & could have access to a server with some sort of knowledge database..). Or let him just donate the hardware and users will take over the content part (having a wiki run on that server).

  2. Ah, Mr Gates is only illustrating that #1 affliction that affects most of the rich & famous; the inability to put their money where their mouth is. If he’s sooo offended by the seemingly archaic computers, then why doesn’t he drop the money or hardware required for faster/more efficient ones instead of PMSing about a project that had the guts to not include him? Sheesh!

  3. i need to be benefited by this( $100 laptops ) mail me quick!!!

  4. can i also please have one of this laptops to assist me in my studies at the university ?i need it badly_for assignments,research and many more…you can even guess how it is for a university student without a desk top or a laptop.please,help me out.thanks in advance.

  5. Please sir i’m a university student here at makumira university, i don’t have a laptop which is very important for my study so i need your support to give me a laptop, even if it is the oldest one it will help me because i’m doing my asignment so bad, so please help me


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