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Even though the price of the OLPC has risen to $175, it is still cheaper than alternative projects

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) group recently announced that its low-cost laptop would be raised from $100 up to $175, but the group is still confident that enough orders will be placed for the group to begin mass production before September.  The goal behind the project is planning to offer inexpensive notebook computers to school children in developing nations.

Even with an increased price tag of $175, the notebooks are still much cheaper than what the computer industry has traditionally offered.  OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte previously stated the price of the notebooks could drop almost 25 percent per year.

A number of factors have caused the increase in the laptop, including design costs and a raise in price of nickel.

"We are perhaps at the most critical stage of OLPC's life," said Negroponte.

Using a modified version of Red hat Linux, the Quanta Computer-built laptop offers users an interface that has pictographic icons instead of traditional windows and folders.

OLPC reportedly already has 2.5 million unit orders, but has to reach the 3 million order mark before May 30, or the group's hardware suppliers will not have enough time to get parts ready, according to Negroponte.

OLPC officials said on Thursday that it may offer laptops to U.S. schools, even though the group previously said that the laptops would be for foreign children only.




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