Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
3/16/2006
11:20 AM
David  DeJean
David DeJean
Commentary
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Gates Slings Mud at $100 PC, Winds Up Muddy

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, stopped off in Washington yesterday to push his company's Origami project at his company's Government Leaders Forum. Although generally a pretty classy guy, Gates followed Intel Chairman Craig Barrett down the low road to take some cheap shots at Nicholas Negroponte's One-Laptop-Per-Child $100 laptop project as a way of building up Origami. Sorry, Bill, but when you got a dog that won't hunt

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, stopped off in Washington yesterday to push his company's Origami project at his company's Government Leaders Forum. Although generally a pretty classy guy, Gates followed Intel Chairman Craig Barrett down the low road to take some cheap shots at Nicholas Negroponte's One-Laptop-Per-Child $100 laptop project as a way of building up Origami. Sorry, Bill, but when you got a dog that won't hunt, you shouldn't make fun of those that do.I totally understand why Barrett and Gates are throwing mud at the $100 laptop. They aren't making any money off it. Its processor won't come from Intel and its operating system won't come from Microsoft, and there are going to millions of them and that just must gripe those guys GREEN.

But it is intellectually dishonest of them to say it's a bad idea and make fun of the $100 PC's hand crank and lack of features. Those are not bad ideas. They are absolutely brilliant ideas in the context of where those computers will be used.

Reuters quoted Gates as saying, "The last thing you want to do for a shared use computer is have it be something without a disk ... and with a tiny little screen." I'm surprised that he's forgotten that a computer without a disk and with a tiny little screen caused an absolute revolution in computing -- the Osborne.

It ill behooves anybody who's flogging anything that looks as useless as the Origami to get snarky about something that actually looks very useful.

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