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Orders for '$100 Laptop' Hit 3 Million

Governments have ordered 3 million of the inexpensive yet rugged computers for schoolchildren through the One Laptop Per Child project, giving the nonprofit group enough volume to kick-start mass production.

In announcing the milestone Monday, the organization would not disclose the countries that will be first in line for its $175 laptops when the production starts in October.

One Laptop Per Child's leaders have said they had interest, if not firm commitments, from several countries, including Libya, Thailand and Uruguay.

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The "XO" machines feature an open-source interface designed to be intuitive for children; a sunlight-readable display; very low power consumption; built-in wireless networking; and a pull cord for recharging by hand.

The laptops are being made by Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of portable computers.

The long-term goal for the project is to bring the cost down even further, which is why the effort was originally known as the "$100 laptop."

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