The first ten $100 laptops have shipped from their Taiwanese manufacturer according to a report from News Corporation.
The One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) – the nonprofit group behind the device – reportedly tested the laptops, which were hand-built, at the U.S. State Department last week.
The laptops have been billed as a durable low-cost PC for children in developing countries. OLPC says it will begin production once it has orders for 5-10 million machines. Already the governments of Brazil, Argentina, Libya, Nigeria, Thailand, and Israel have expressed interest in the machines which have received support from Google, AMD, Brightstar, News Corporation, and Red Hat, but not Microsoft. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft criticized the computer in March.
News Corp reports that the first generation of the $100 laptop offers 128MB of memory (RAM) and 512MB of storage. The machines are expected to be more powerful when they officially ship, probably in 2008.
The laptop will be WiFi- and cell phone-enabled, and can be powered using a hand-crank. It is designed to be used in harsh environments.
The laptop was the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).