The $100 laptop is a project that has been in the pipeline for a while now. The premise is a good one, too. The OX is designed for use by children in developing countries and, while it is designed as such, some parties believe that serious questions will be raised over pricing issues and questions over the features in everyday laptops currently for sale.
Recent news from Microsoft means that the OX will be available with Microsoft XP and an open source equivalent. The laptops also include educational software and a number of other features. The education interface is called Sugar, and some doubt had been raised as to its efficacy since the introduction of XP.
However, Walter Bender, one of the founders of Sugar Labs resigned from the OX project in order that he and Sugar Labs could continue to develop the Sugar interface. Their intention is to open talks with other computer and portable device manufacturers in order to offer Sugar through a number of channels.
Sugar is an open source package, and this not only means it is available to use for free, but that the script and code can be acquired free and developers can create their own adapted versions and new features. Open source operating systems, including the popular Ubuntu, has already included Sugar as an integral part of their own recent systems.
The $100 laptop is a great initiative and while the main thrust of the program is to offer the developing world greater and more varied educational opportunities, the effects of the program are likely to be witnessed around the world.