Back in October 2005, I posted an article ("Global implications of the $50 PC") saying that a "bare bones" PC price will need to drop to $50 before PC's can effectively populate the world's developing and Third World countries. Here is the jist of what I said:
If MIT can build a laptop for $100, then perhaps a minimal NetPC with monitor could be built for $50 or less if mass-produced. At that price, a "PC" is not too far out of the reach of most people in China and India, although it would be a stretch given the relatively low pay there currently.
Well, Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the One Laptop Per Child Project (informally known as MIT's $100 Laptop project), has recently announced his goal is to develop a $50 laptop by 2010 as technology drives down the price of their current $137 laptop.
Google is fully supporting this effort, while Bill Gates has been critical of the project since the affordable PC won't run his software. See "Bill Gates mocks MIT's $100 laptop project" for proof on the evil comments made by Gates. You see, PC's loaded with Microsoft software cost at least $150 more than they have to. As such, Microsoft is a hindrance to getting computers to developing and Third World countries.
Back in May 2005 I speculated on the development of a GooglePC in an article called "Google's Future? GBrowser, GooglePC, Google NetPC and Google ISP". Many things I've predicted have already come true, and recently Google has debuted a web-enabled word processor (Writely) and announced plans for hosting user files (GDrive). Google is quietly preparing for a world in which they will host all of your data, if you desire, so that you can access your data wherever you go. For the One Laptop Per Child Project, Google's efforts mean developing countries will not need bulky hard drives, thus helping to bring the price down to the needed $50 level.