Intel eyes PCs for developing nations (via
By Candace Lombardi
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: March 30, 2006, 12:32 PM PST
Last modified: March 30, 2006, 9:00 PM PST

The fully featured, high-quality, low-cost desktop PC platform is aimed at first-time computer users and the design is meant to be carried out by PC makers. The platform was unveiled by Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini at a press event in Mexico as part of Intel's "Discover the PC" effort.

While Intel has not yet released details, the platform is promised to be small, inexpensive, energy-efficient and reasonably priced for the average developing-nation family, according to a statement.

The desktop PCs will also have high-speed Internet access….

Most consumer PCs are not designed to withstand unusually adverse climate conditions or handle fluctuating power supplies, and that has severely limited their use in parts of some developing countries.

On Wednesday, Intel unveiled in India a fully functional computer called the Community PC. It's well-equipped to handle adverse conditions, according to Intel spokeswoman Agnes Kwan.

Intel's Community PC is designed to withstand temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 85 percent relative humidity, and has a removable dust filter. To keep the motherboard cool, the chassis houses an integrated fan. The computer operates on a "customized power supply unit," and is designed to consume less than 100 watts while operating, which is another way of keeping the computer's heat in check.

Intel seems to continue to understand 'appropriate' as a function of the technology alone. Their new 'Community PC' is designed to withstand adverse operating conditions (good), and to be situated in a kiosk (good) as a shared-access machine (depends on the use). We know that Intel is counting on kiosk owners being about to pay more for (presumably with borrow money) the desktop and so it'll cost more. That's okay, according to them, because it's a source of income. But how? What are people going to do with them? Computers don't attract users like mosquitos to a light. There is little that is inherently appealing.

The end of this article mentions several Intel pilot projects that have proven to them that this is the way to go. Anyone know which pilots? Are they still around? Simple probability says they're not.

Update: Today I noticed an article on Wired News about Negroponte's reaction to Intel and Microsoft criticising the $100 laptop/One Laptop Per Child project. No surprise – the article is entirely about technology. Oddly, the article finishes with a quote from Negroponte: "The hundred-dollar laptop is an education project. It's not a laptop project." And yet – where's the talk about education? Seriously. If it's out there, please point me to it.