Hey, at least the $10 Indian ‘computing device’ runs OpenOffice

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Who cares about that stimulus package, right? Jobs, smobs, I say. No, what we’re concerned about is the nitty gritty of that so-called $10 Indian laptop. Is it even a laptop? What can it do? What can’t it do? Where’s Waldo?

So the laptop, again, really isn’t a laptop, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, Indian officials have described it as a “computing device.” It can run certain programs, including OpenOffice.org. It can even surf the Web. Once produced at high volumes, it should sell for $10; before that, between $20 and $30. (Everything I know about India I learned from the first half of Slumdog Millionaire, before I turned it off because it’s an overrated piece of Hollywood hype, so forgive my ignorance on Indian affairs and cultural norms.)

As you might have already guessed, it’s primarily being made for the education market, and higher education at that. Students needing to pump out labs and long-form essays, that sort of thing.

One last thing: please don’t compare this to the XO Laptop. This “computing device” isn’t charged with the lofty goal of ending world poverty or anything, but merely to assist higher learning.

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