The MIT Tech Review is reporting that the $100 laptop project already has over 4 million orders from around the world! For those of you who haven't been watching closely, the initiative hopes to deliver one laptop per child in an effort to help kids in developing communities learn online, communicate across the globe, and express themselves creatively through computer media. (The computer actually comes all decked out with a Linux system, word processing, multimedia playback, and web browsing).

What's amazing about the project isn't just the idealism behind it, but also the innovation: early versions of the computer used a hand crank to generate the power, so kids in villages could use the laptops without electrical plugs. Since then, the group (headed up by former MIT Media Lab honcho Nicholas Negroponte) has figured out an even better way to generate electricity: a pull-string crank that you can tug with other body parts (like your leg if you're sitting at a desk) so that it doesn't interrupt your typing!

Another exciting factor is that other companies are going to try and compete: word on the street is that Microsoft is trying to build an even cheaper laptop. Well, whatever else happens, one thing's for sure: the next generation is going to be a whole lot better at Solitaire.

Link via MIT Technology Review