Microsoft gets into the "giving mood", and how they can give more ...
Paul McNamara had a nice take on a boneheaded MS maneuver - see "Microsoft laptop giveaway gets the Times treatment". I'd just gotten back from a discussion of the XO, from the $100 laptop per child guys spun out of the MIT Media Lab, so I got an idea - check out "A Modest Proposal". Read more ...
Most people don't realize how Redmond works - often its not about the skill but about the numeric impact of your action. In a big company, you get rewarded by doing big things.
So if they can reach 7,290 people with the resources set for 90, it attracts attention. Even more if it causes a cascade reaction in the industry to 127,290.
So what if the main obstacle in doing it is that your core product is totally unusable for the purpose, but your remaining competition is the only possibility!
Such is the case if Microsoft were to approach the problem of legitimately gifting (e.g. under $25) industry wags in their typically overwhelming style. You could just about do it too.
XO is called a toy. So much so, maybe toy manufacturers might be attracted as a base item in many toys, which otherwise depend on PC's. What if they volume produced it? Prices would drop eightfold.
So the upshot is, that simply with Microsoft's indirect push, and the toy industry believing the "toy" claim, it might make such an impact that the "digital divide" might close off of it.
Its the simple things in life that matter. Have a happy 2007.