Bill Gates doesn't like Nicholas Negroponte's project for the "100-dollars-laptop". No surprise: Negroponte is planning a computer that would run on Linux and use other free open-source software. But I was still, say, mildly astonished today to hear Bill Gates (we were both speaking at a conference in Istanbul) dismissing the laptop idea in a mocking manner. Verbatim:
Negroponte's laptop doesn't have a battery. You have to crank for a long time and then type very fast and then crank again. The only design improvement is that they took out the battery.
if it works, we will do a version of Windows for it.
While expressing doubts about Negroponte's whole concept and its sustainability ("these things need support, training, etc") and explaining that low-cost computers already exist ("personal computing is a low-cost tech, what's most expensive is the connectivity"), Gates offered a different approach, describing an idea for a computer surrogate that would be made up of a specially configureed cell phone ("everyone will have one") connected to a TV set and to a keyboard. He didn't clarify whether Microsoft is working on such a design.