I read about the ASUS EEPC today (http://www.hothardware.com/News/Asus_Eee_PC_Hands_On_Preview_/).
Here are the highlights that struck me as most interesting:
1. Full blown Linux distribution (Xandros) with Open Office installed
2. Weight of <900 gms
3. Expansion through USB
4. VGA output
5. WLAN/Ethernet connectivity
6. Rumors of putting 3G connectivity on the EEPC soon
Yes the pricing is very attractive, and it will be a high volume seller in developing countries (think volume, think China, Latin American, Africa, and South Asia). There are offcourse, lots of issues here. For example, localization is one issue. Then there is the issue of Internet connectivity itself.
But the most important issue is that of content. So far, the content on the Internet is limited to cater to people who have some western-style education. Content for the masses, and I mean content that is interesting to large populations of developing countries does not exist. One of most important business plans that needs to be written now is how to produce, syndicate and price content for this huge market. Unless we have meaningful and reasonable content to offer, the case for spending $200 on a computer becomes very weak.
We also need to understand that there may be populations who now have access to the Internet, but other basic infrastructure such as roads, delivery services, banking systems, electricity, etc. lag far behind.
How do we prevent the situation of putting the cart in front of the horse?