Monday, January 30, 2006

On the ground: Gates wants smartphones for everyone

As an alternative to the $100 laptop project, Bill Gates last week proposed to the World Economic Forum that smartphones could be built to be linked with a TV and keyboard and turned into a computer for people in remote locations. Everyone is going to have a cell phone, and it makes sense to use it to bring them the power of a computer.

While it's a view that I agree with, and I think it's a fine idea to help bring computing power to poor nations, one has to look at the reason Microsoft is making these comments. I'm sure Gates wants to help the poor, but there are reports that Microsoft was disappointed that the $100 laptop is going to run Linux, and if they could convince some international organizations to adopt their idea, it would put Windows Mobile back into front view. Note that the $100 laptop project recently received the support of the UN.

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