updated 7/23/2007 12:57:24 PM ET 2007-07-23T16:57:24

Governments are said to have ordered three million inexpensive computers for schoolchildren through the One Laptop Per Child project. That is giving the nonprofit group enough volume to begin mass production soon.

In announcing the milestone, the organization would not disclose the countries that will be first in line for its 175 dollar laptops when 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.

The 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, 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 dollar laptop."

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