MultiPoint and the Simplicity of Sharing

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. In emerging market education, there has been so much energy and discussion spent on attempts to make computers affordable enough so that every kid can get their own computer. But for 99% of students in the world, is this ever going to happen in their lifetimes? Just…

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“Phone First” in Boston

Last month I had the opportunity to attend NextLab 2008: Designing Mobile Technologies for the Next Billion Users. It was a one-day conference at the MIT Media Lab involving projects from an interdisciplinary class there focused on how to apply cell phone technology to help create social and economic opportunity for poor people throughout the…

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Paul Polak and the Art of Listening

Paul Polak is a hero of mine. He created a nonprofit organization called International Development Enterprises (IDE) and spent 25 years there developing creative ways to make poor people in Asia and Africa less poor. His specialty is developing sustainable tools that rural farmers earning $2/day actually buy in order to increase the amount of…

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The Real Problem With Windows AND Linux In Emerging Market Education

  The Ecosystem Impact of Affordable Computing This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. This past spring Microsoft hired Vital Wave Consulting to create a five year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model to help us and our customers better understand the true cost structure for deploying large numbers of…

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Netbook Momentum ...

I haven’t seen much about this in the press yet, but yesterday Intel and Carlos Slim in Mexico announced a deal to deploy 50,000 Intel Classmate Netbook computers to poor students in Mexico. These machines will be running Windows and Office. The agreement is between Fundacion Telmex and Intel, and the 50,000 machines are apparently…

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How to Build Solutions for MOP and BOP

Channel 9 is running an interview with with Tara Prakriya, a solutions architect here in the Unlimited Potential Group, as their featured video right now. Tara focuses on designing education solutions for poor schools and has some interesting ideas on the challenges we face in adapting a Windows-based solution for areas that lack basic things…

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Western China Project

A group of people from Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential team are heading out to Western China next week to raise awareness on a firsthand basis around issues involving the digital divide for rural communities in emerging market countries. You can learn more about the project on the UP home page. The team will be evangelizing existing…

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Look! Windows on the OLPC XO!

Today Microsoft and the OLPC are announcing support for Windows on the OLPC XO computer. The two organizations will work together on several pilot programs in emerging market countries starting next month, and the offering will RTM in August or September. Initially it will only be available in emerging market countries where governments or NGOs…

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We Have a Name: "Creative Capitalism"

Bill Gates gave a great speech at Davos this week around the concept of Creative Capitalism, an approach where governments, businesses, and non-profits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities. It is an important and…

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OLPC in the News (Part 2)

Well, I will be flying out to Cambridge next week for my first meeting with some of the people at the OLPC, and I have to say I am looking forward to it. Some of my UPG co-workers from Microsoft have been meeting with the OLPC team for about a year now, but since I…

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