Solid state laptops: OLPC XO, Classmate and Asus EEE
OLPC  have been working on a light-weight easy to use laptop specifically for children and their education. As they have been releasing beta products for testing, adults who have seen these pretty little green computers have been totally enthusiastic and clamouring to buy them - for themselves. On the OLPC mailing lists a number of entrepreneurs want to buy large numbers for sales to private individuals.
The rival of the OLPC, Intel's classmate  - also a solid state computer with scaled down specs and flash drive instead of hard-disk (hence solid state - there are no moving parts in these machines) - seems to have slowed down somewhat with Intel joining the OLPC consortium in October. Also Intel are not talking to us (maybe were just not big enough) so I can't report anything else there.
Now as OLPC have launched their buy two get one offer, it seems Asus  is also taking on the Christmas shoppers with their Eee, which seems to cost anywhere between $200 (the original price Asus marketed in the second half of 2007) and $399 because of demand. Asus are reporting a unit sold every 6 seconds - making between 6000 and 14400 per day depending on how many sales minutes there are per day. That is not bad to quite good indeed. The Eee also has its own operating system, which seemes to be built on the Windows platform.
Ubiquitous computing in the developed world is good news for the developing world - apart from environmental/recycling issues(!).
 Intel Classmate
 Asus Eee
November 26th 2007 10:08