"100-dollar laptop" could go commercial by September

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For all those who, seeing the first "100-dollar 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 TED2006 (watch video or read summary) 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, 7,000 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.