How to Conquer the World for Linux 16804
How to Conquer the World for Linux 16805
The problem with the laptop he describes (386, 4-Megs RAM, 32MB HDD) is that it is pathetically weak...
Not sure you could make a laptop for 300 dollars that would actually be useful...
Consider that the LCD screen and batteries are the most expensive parts.
Also, even though a light OS could be had (XP embedded or just the raw Linux kernal, or even the Win32 "K-API"), the software needed to do what people want to do today would probably take up a lot more space - which is really mostly irrelevant since more memory isn't very expensive.
It would cost a lot more just to get a light OS with light apps. developed than to simply take on an extra 256MB of memory (20 bux?) and do it right the first time.
Maybe a light office package compatible with Office 2003's XML file format (meaning totally open file formats - no binary stuff). At least then the light office package could interact with the outside world.
How to Conquer the World for Linux 16807
amosf 95, 98 and ME could all be upgraded from Win3.11, and we all know MS had Windows install on just about EVERY computer, so just about anyone...
XP embedded would probably be the best choice - it is proven very reliable, can be pared down to a very small core, and runs Win32 natively which is what most apps. are already developed in (or get translated down to).
Again, the cost of the laptop is going to be all hardware really... and the price of the nice LCD screen is going to dominate that.
I do like your idea though... maybe think about something of a smaller form factor with OS and apps. in ROM so it is always instant on, instant off.
I remember the HP Journada with Window CE at the time (a full sized laptop that was relatively cheap).
Great idea, not so good end. And Windows CE (Pocket PC) is eons better now. Hell, my MS mobile phone is better now lol.