For all those who, seeing the first "100-dollars-laptops", have wondered "when can I get one", the answer is: sooner than expected.
One Laptop Per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte said this week during a speech in Geneva, Switzerland, that a retail version of the laptop may be commercially available in September 2007, according to a report published by local blog GenevaLunch. Negroponte presented the laptop project at TED 2006 (watch video or read summary or read previous related posts) and had already spoken of the possibility of a commercial rollout, suggesting however a longer time-horizon. The laptop may be sold under a "buy one, pay two" model (the second going to a kid in a developing country).
Currently 7000 of the computers are in use, said Negroponte. He expects to see this figure grow to 1 million by the end of the year. And being the ambitious visionary we know, he believes that within five years - if not sooner - OLPC could account for 20 percent of the world's computer production... Rolling out large numbers of computers could be made easier by last week's announcement that OLPC and Intel -- which until then had pursued competing inexpensive computers for developing countries (OLPC's laptop is built around a chip by AMD, Intel's main competitor) -- have agreed to work together.