Cheap computers for emerging markets. How is that going to evolve?
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
This year, there is a big push to make cheap computers for emerging markets. How is that going to have to evolve? A $300 computer is still going to be too expensive for many, probably, in Russia, India and other places.
Well, that’s not really true. The expensive thing is the connectivity. Getting Internet connectivity is expensive. If all they had to do was pay for the computer–$300–and the communications were free, then we’d see that PC usage would be very, very big. Ironically, communications costs tend to be highest in developing countries.
So you need to do shared PCs through cafes or community centers. We’re doing a lot of so-called mesh networking research that could use wireless spectrum to try to bring those connectivity costs way, way down, and that’s where you really see widespread computing breakthroughs.
Interview found here.