$100 Laptop Odds

Marc Wagner writes:

If you have spent any time at all in industry, you’ve heard of the old joke “We’ll take a loss and make it up on volume.” That’s exactly what Mr. Negroponte and his sponsors are gambling on. Is it a safe gamble? I don’t know.

Mr. Negroponte is counting in shipping 150 MILLION units a year by 2007. I would be surprised if any OEM has ever shipped even 10 million of any single model of any PC ever let alone 150 million. To be sure, shipping this many Linux laptops in a single year would swamp anything Microsoft (or any other IT vendor) has ever done single-handedly. Are you listening Bill?

The scale of Mr. Negroponte’s vision is so grand that his sponsors would be foolish not to tap into it even if only 1% of that volume is ever attained. Still, like Microsoft, Mr. Negroponte’s sponsors are obligated to their stockholders they too are in it for the money. The opportunity to rub Bill Gates’ face in the mud is only gravy.

What exactly is Mr. Negroponte dependent upon to make his vision a reality?

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.