I had lunch with Quentin Stafford Fraser, the Executive Director of Ndiyo.
Ndiyo! is a project set up to foster an approach to networked computing that is simple, affordable and open.
The idea is to use very thin clients – basically small enough and cheap enough to build directly into a monitor – to access a central Linux or Windows server, over ethernet or over USB.
Technologies are being developed (see Newnham Research, for example) which could revolutionise the cost of providing computing services, for example in schools, internet cafes, businesses or government departments. Instead of providing each user with a beige box, with processing power, memory and in most cases a sotware licence, each user would access their own account on a central server. The result would be computing that is cheaper and easier to maintain.
I’m much more excited about this than I am about Nicholas Negroponte’s $100 laptop.