The makers of the "green machines," the low-cost laptops given to children in developing nations, are poised to distribute those computers in the United States. But only those states showing the most need will have first dibs on the $200 computers. "We want to be efficient and fair," says Mike Ford, executive director of the new One Laptop Per Child branch in Washington, D.C.
The nonprofit project has run into challenges recently. Earlier this month, Intel resigned from the board of directors after a disagreement. That turmoil fueled speculation that the charity needs American orders to stay afloat. Ford says the decision to distribute the laptops to American students is "the patriotic thing to do." No word yet on which states want the laptops in their schools. Ford would only say that about half of the states have expressed interest.