Timeline: The budget laptop wars

Low-cost laptop starts production

The One Laptop per Child foundation starts production of its XO laptop, aimed at developing countries. It's the first sign that the era of low-cost computing has begun. It runs on free Linux software.

RM and Asus launch 169 laptop in the UK

UK education IT supplier RM announces a partnership with Asus to launch the low-cost Eee PC laptop in Britain for 169. The laptop was launched in 2007.

Microsoft looks to put XP on low-cost laptops

Microsoft makes plans to offer its Window XP operating system to the budget laptop market. It is planning to assist manufacturers in designing flash machines which are capable of running XP, with claims that the OLPC machines could be running the operating system by mid-2008.

Intel pulls out of OLPC project

There is conflict as Intel abandons the OLPC project in favour of its own development opportunities. The chipmaker withdraws funding and technical support, claiming that OLPC had demanded that they end support for non-OLPC platforms like the Classmate PC.

OLPC project gets another rival

Ex-OLPC chief technology officer launches a company called Pixel Qi which has the goal of producing a sub-$75 laptop. It also wants to bring "sunlight readable, low-cost and low-power screens into mainstream laptops, mobile phones and digital cameras" to developing markets.

Elonex to announce 99 Eee PC rival

The British PC supplier enters the market with a 99 machine, which it intends to go head to head with the Asus Eee PC and the OLPC project.

Cheap Intel laptops coming to Europe

Intel announces plans to expand the reach of its Classmate PC to the US and Europe. Although intended for children, it is expected the move will drive momentum for the low-cost computing movement.

IDF: Intel 'Atom' based laptops set to blow away Eee PC

Intel showcases a new processor called 'Atom' which has the potential to change the market with its small size and ultra low-power capabilities.

IDF: Intel unveils second generation low-cost laptops

Intel continues its push into low cost computing with the introduction of the second generation Classmate PC, which carries Windows XP and is targeted at European and US markets as well as developing countries.

HP introduces Eee PC rival

More Asus rivals hit the market, as HP introduces the 'Mini-Note' laptop at the education market and mobile professionals. Available in May, the computer will cost around 300.

Asus reveals multi-touch Eee PC 900

Asus responds to the competition with the launch of a second-generation laptop, featuring a higher resolution display, increased memory, and multi-touch control pad.