Believe it or not, not everybody in the world has as much disposable income as the average Joe in the US. Getting past this digital divide, as the mainstream media loves to call it, is one of the major goals of international organizations and companies alike. What will be the catalyst for change? Why Linux, of course.
Based in Macau, YellowSheepRiver Municator is beginning to sell a Linux-based PC that is being aimed at people in the developing world. Costing about $150, the sports rather modest components, including a 400/800-MHz Goodson processor, a 40-GB hard drive, 256-MB of RAM, Wi-Fi and a DVd drive. Yeah, you probably won't be running Maya on it, but I tend to think that big, power-hungry apps aren't exactly what this PC is intended to run. There's even a video of one of YellowSheepRiver Municator's execs talking it up.
Now, many have compared it to the hand-cranked OLPC, but the Municator actually plugs into a wall. That's not to say that the hand crank is useless, but you'd have to wonder how much utility kids will get out of a laptop where even basic infrastructure is lacking.
The Municator will be marketed primarily in rural China and Southeast Asia. Again, it'll only be $150.