Bill Gates Blasts MIT's $100 Laptop

Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect, on Wednesday criticized the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) $100 Laptop initiative, which is backed by search giant Google, Reuters reports.

The $100 Laptop project was started to provide computer access to children in developing counties, but the laptops lack many of the common features found in typical computers, such as a hard disk drive, according to Reuters.

The project’s website reads “The laptops … will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.”

“The last thing you want to do for a shared use computer is have it be something without a disk … and with a tiny screen,” Gates told the audience at Microsoft’s Government Leaders Forum, Reuters reports.

“Hardware is a small part of the cost” of enabling computer access, Gates said, noting that the larger costs are associated with network connectivity, applications and support, according to Reuters.

“If you are going to have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user. Geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type,” Gates said, according to Reuters.

Though Gates repeatedly referred to the $100 Laptop computers as shared use machines, the initiative is also commonly known as “One Laptop per Child.”

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