You might have heard about 100$ laptop project.They call it one laptop per child.India has come up with its own lower cost solution.Indian HRD minister unveiled a low cost access cum computing device. The price of device expected to be around 1500 Rs. (30-35$).This will be available to students through educational institutions by 2011.
The device runs on Linux and it won’t have hard drive but flash as storage.Device is expected to support
- Video web conferencing facility
- multimedia content viewer like jpeg,.pdf,.png
- Zip unzip utility
- Productivity suite and computational software such as Open office,Scilab
- Wireless communication I assume wifi driver
- Remote device management capability
- It says cloud computing option,I assume it means ability to work as cloud computing client.(Browser?)
- Multimedia input-output interface
Government has setup under National Mission on Education through Information and Technology (NMEICT) to provide connectivity in Universities and colleges.They are also creating high quality educational web based and video content.This access device will help them to leverage this.
My thoughts:As cloud computing is growing with fast pace a connected access device will be more than enough to provide productivity suite to students.Also, as a few million student will start using Linux in their college days thanks to this device,adoption of Linux will go more mainstream in India in coming year.As for students who will pass out from these institutions can work with Cloud and Linux access, device a bad thing for Microsoft (?).
Also, India should be part of 100$ laptop project.As they are open for ideas to globally reduce cost of computing for students.