Intel Corp.'s low-cost laptop initiative is set to get a boost from Portugal's government, which is pledging to buy 500,000 computers based on the chipmaker's Classmate PC design for that nation's elementary school students.

The announcement brings Intel's rivalry with the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative into the spotlight once again.

In May, OLPC said its green-and-white XO laptop computers would work with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows in addition to a homegrown Linux-based operating system.

The move was seen as a way to make the so-called "$100 laptop," which presently costs about $188, more palatable to education ministers in developing countries who


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