The goal is to revolutionize education by providing one laptop per child all around the world. The wealthy few who can already afford today’s computers and the many poor whose daily lives are consumed with avoiding starvation are not target users in the short-term, however. The target market is education ministries in nations whose schools could afford to phase in a one-time purchase price of $100 as part of the primary and secondary education costs for each child. China, for instance, spends an average of $19 on textbooks per student per year for its 220 million primary and secondary school students. All the textbooks, along with much more, could be supplied to the students via one $100 laptop.
For that price, students get a device which puts into their hands, in the classroom and at home, displayed in a handy and clear presentation, any book or other text which exists in digital form. It allows them to communicate in real time with classmates and faculty. It allows them to run interactive educational software, and even to join in improving existing software or creating new software themselves. They can write essays, draw illustrations, study spreadsheets, and create databases. If their mesh network has an internet connection, the students can access any information on the internet which their government does not censor.