Challenges to providing laptops such as OLPC are:
- price: needs to be low
- low power: many places in the developing world often don't have power sources that most laptops require
- network: these places often aren't connected to the internet either
- other infrastructure
- lifetime: it will need to last
- distribution: how to get the laptops to the children/schools?
Mary Lou also discussed some of the technical challenges, especially with respect to power consumption. Using a Linux OS is 160th the size of Vista, so using that required less hardware to run. They also found a way to turn off the CPU in 1/10th of a second, and wake it back up in the same time with a keyboard event or packet from the internet.
One major problem the laptops faced when first mass-produced was that they didn't ever come out of hibernation! Luckily they were able to fix the problem within three weeks, and since then, about 1 million have been deployed, with millions more ready to go.
The price of the laptop is expected to drop to $100 by next year. I've always wanted an OLPC, but haven't got one yet. Do you have an OLPC? If so, what are you using it for? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments below - maybe you can convince some of us to buy one!