There is a lot of buzz about the $100 laptop which could be completed and be ready to be shipped by as early as next year.
As background, the MIT Media Lab helped launch a new non-profit association - One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). The global program's goal is to create a $100 laptop and put it in the hands of hundreds of millions of students and teachers around the world.
The five countries initially participating are: Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, United States (Massachusetts), Cambodia, Costa Rica and Tunisia. Each of them has committed to buy the laptops and give them to the students and teachers.
Prototypes should be available Q3 '06. Manufacturing should begin Q4 '06. The initial target is that 10 to 15 million test units will be ready to ship by Q1 2007.
The laptop will be Linux based, have full color, be wireless and will be capable of doing everything except it won't have the ability to store a lot of data. As a unique feature, the laptop will have windup-powered with one minute of hand cranking giving enough power for the laptop to operate for 10 minutes. Here are some pictures.
Founding members include: AMD, Brightstar, Google, News Corporation and Red Hat. Each of them initially chipped in $2 million. For more about Red Hat's involvement, read this interview with Michael Evans, their VP of Corporate Development.
As a secondary benefit, people are already talking about making a commercial version available maybe for something like $200 and some of the proceeds go to OLPC.