A Plug for the Unplugged $100 Laptop Computer for Developing Nations - New York Times: "The great thing about computers is that they are what economists call general-purpose technologies. That is, they provide a platform on which other applications can be built, whether they are cash registers, A.T.M.'s, document repositories or instructional tools.
Ultimately, both sides of the Davos debate are right: cellphones have proven uses and will continue to spread rapidly in developing countries. But cellphones have their limits. Offering general-purpose technologies like low-cost laptops is a riskier strategy, but it just might have a big payoff."