Microsoft Pitching In To Close the Digital Divide: Cell Phone Based Internet Connection

Some more good news came out today from Davos about how Microsoft is trying to tackle the problem of the growing digital divide. Its exciting to hear that other organizations are thinking about how to solve this problem (thanks to Negroponte and his $100 Laptop Project for building the momentum).

I like how Microsoft is thinking about this from a social entrepreneurship point of view. When asked about Negroponte’s $100 Laptop project, Craig Mundie, CTO of Microsoft, said:

“I love what Nick is trying to do,” Mundie told the Times. “We have a lot of concerns about the sustainability of his approach.” He said there was no firm timing for the cell phone computing strategy, but that Microsoft encouraged such innovations in the past by building prototypes for consumer electronics manufacturers.

Sustainability is requisite to building a solution that creates social value over a period of time and Mundie brings up a relevant point. Finding a sustainable solution is the toughest part of social entrepreneurship, and I hope we see some developments here that we all can learn from and use going forward.

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