What $10 PC? India Goes OLPC

Shortly after CES 2009, news did the rounds about India’s supposed $10 dollar laptop. The laptop reportedly cost $20 to manufacture, but according to India’s Secretary for Higher Education, large-scale production would see the price in half by the time it hit consumers.

Within a couple of days, India showed off this much talked about machine and people were disappointed to see that it wasn’t exactly a laptop. The Sakshat was a 10-inch by 5-inch plastic box which, despite its fancy unveiling at India's Sri Venkateswara University, looked more like a storage device than anything else. As for the $10 price, the expected price is closer to thirty bucks.

We gave up on the idea, right then and there, and apparently, so did India. Reports today say the country has just purchased thousands of OLPC laptops for its schools. According to Giz, the Indian government has signed an agreement with the One Laptop Per Child Foundation that will see 250,000 XO laptops distributed to students throughout the country.

The original plan was to develop a hundred dollar laptop, however the price as it stands is just under twice that. OLPC said it hoped to have the price down to $100 in 2008 but that, realistically; it would probably be more like $140. It’s not clear whether or not India will be using the XP version of the XO machine that comes bundled with Windows XP and Microsoft’s Student Innovation Suite, which includes Microsoft Office 2003 as well as Learning Essentials 1.0 for Microsoft Office. The addition of Windows XP to the XO laptop adds an extra $3 dollars to the price or $7 for a dual-boot version running both Windows and Linux.

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  • jsloan
    they should have gotten netbooks, surely someone could have built them a linux one for around $150.
  • pug_s
    $10 pc is probably the recycled 4-5 year old with Pentium IV processors.
  • Anonymous
    India is not poor as perceived by other countries, they have the best in R&D and very low priced products which are more competitive than the ones made in countries like China and Taiwan. I don't understand why India needs an OLPC or Net-book, they already have so many old PCs which can be donated for poor needy children. But as far as I know, those cannot afford a PC cannot afford Electricity line in India, so what the point?