The OLPC (one laptop per child) projects goal is to ‘To provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves.‘ It’s not about laptops – it’s about giving people a way to change their lives.
It’s a not for profit project envisioned by Nicholas Negroponte, and the idea is to get the cost of the laptops down to under $100 each so governments and organisations in developing countries can buy them as part of their educational program. The design of the XO (the laptop) is fantastic – with a screen that can be read in direct sunlight, a power supply that can be charged by winding it up, and a keyboard designed to resist sand and dirt, and be highly resistant to water penetration. The software it uses is based on open source, and it’s using a processor designed by AMD.
This project is currently at a crucial time of development, all it needs now is for a few orders to really get it off the ground and get proper buy in.
So here’s the problem, Intel have just brought out a competitor at $200, and running Microsoft software. The Intel Classmate PC looks like it’s a sickening way to profit from the increasing excitement and popularity of the upcoming XO, using their marketing muscle to sell an inferior design for more money.