Print 17 comment(s) - last by theapparition.. on Dec 3 at 9:24 PM

Peru buys 260,000 XO laptops from the OLPC Foundation

Not so long ago things weren’t looking good for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) foundation. The non-profit organization was founded with the goal of providing poor children in developing nation’s laptop computers. These laptops would be used to help poor children access the educational opportunities online students enjoy in developed nations.

The OLPC has its share of problems, most recently with a patent suit filed in a Nigerian court by a Nigerian company called Lagos Analysis Corp over the design of the OLPC keyboard. Since the OLPC XO notebook finally entered production, it has had to fight with rival Intel for the market that it envisioned.

The Boston Globe reports that Peru has placed an order for 260,000 XO notebooks. Nicholas Negroponte, who founded the OLPC foundation, told The Boston Globe, “It [the Peruvian order] was notarized five minutes ago.”

The OLPC hopes to build on this momentum and announced that Carlos Slim, Mexican billionaire, has purchased 50,000 of the XO notebooks for distribution in Mexico.

Peru now joins ranks of XO owning nations like Uruguay. It wouldn’t be out of the question for the Peruvian sale to falter in the closing hours -- Intel was previously able to steal an order form the OLPC placed by Libya. Libya had reportedly agreed to buy one million XO laptops, but purchased the Intel Classmate PCs instead.

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true colors
By Screwballl on 12/3/2007 12:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
now we see the true colors of Intel coming out... they sat on the board, liked the idea and made their own cheap laptop... another idea stolen (AMD64 anyone)

RE: true colors
By James Holden on 12/3/2007 12:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously Intel's idea was better if they're able to do it for a profit, something the OLPC group has yet to do.

I think you've read AMD's breakfree website a few too many times. If Intel stole all their ideas from AMD, why is AMD tinkering on bankruptcy and Intel isn't?

RE: true colors
By jlanders646 on 12/3/2007 1:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
AMD could continue to loose money for another 5 yrs until they tinkered with the bankruptcy idea. I wouldn't quite call them out of the game by no means yet. As for Intel, its the nature of the beast, I can do it better and cheaper than you and I'm going to prove it.

RE: true colors
By Screwballl on 12/3/2007 1:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
you answered your own question... if Company X steals the very idea that would allow you to overtake them and X uses it to take themselves that much higher, you lose your profit margins and do exactly what AMD is doing.
They counted on that income for the ATi buyout and so they are really hurting now.

Theft and stealing is not competition, it is unfair business practices. In this case the idea and patent belonged to OLPC and Intel stole at least the idea of it when they could have helped with it.

RE: true colors
By Oregonian2 on 12/3/2007 2:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
What was the original idea that was stolen? The concept of a laptop? The concept of making computers cheap, as if prices on computers (and laptops) weren't going down to nothing anyway? I can see that deciding to DO a product at a very low price point is different, but I don't understand that its new idea. It's just an idea that probably had gotten "no" to the request to do it (due to lack of profit margin).

RE: true colors
By TomZ on 12/3/2007 2:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
Theft and stealing is not competition, it is unfair business practices. In this case the idea and patent belonged to OLPC and Intel stole at least the idea of it when they could have helped with it.

Huh? What patent would that be?

Intel did help with OLPC - they improved upon it - at least in the eyes of those that cancelled their OLPC orders and placed orders for the Intel computer. As I said in another post, what's so special about OLPC doing it instead of someone else?

RE: true colors
By Screwballl on 12/3/2007 2:57:33 PM , Rating: 3
The idea of making a low cost laptop to benefit under privileged children in poor countries is what is at stake here. No other company had anything close until OLPC came up with it and actually made it happen.. this is the idea Intel stole by also being on the board. Intel saw a way to get more money so stole that idea to do just that.. I do not know if they actually care about making a difference but I am sure their income has improved with these orders they stole from OLPC.

RE: true colors
By TomZ on 12/3/2007 3:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC, AMD also had a small, cheap computer they were selling into developing countries. Why aren't you complaining about that as well?

Also, I don't expect Intel to "care" about "making a difference." They are a corporation whose purpose is to earn profit and increase the value of the company. It is not a charity organization. If Intel starts gearing its strategy towards "caring" then the shareholders will demand the immediate resignations of senior managers and/or board members. In other words, all is as it should be.

But Intel selling cheap PCs into developing nations can accomplish the same purpose as OLPC, plus at the same time earn profit for Intel. Sounds like a win-win to me. What's your problem with that?

RE: true colors
By theapparition on 12/3/2007 9:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
The man behind the OLPC initative, Negroponte, has publicly stated that the goal is to help children in poor underdeveloped countries gain access to technology and education. I ask this question: Why would he care who does it? If that's his true goal, then he should support the competition.

If you read up on him, he's had numerous failed endevours and come up with other ideas that his peers openly mocked. He's solely in this for notoriety and profit, thinly veiled behind a magnanamous humanitarian effort.

RE: true colors
By TomZ on 12/3/2007 12:47:14 PM , Rating: 3
now we see the true colors of Intel coming out... they sat on the board, liked the idea and made their own cheap laptop... another idea stolen (AMD64 anyone)

In addition to what the above poster said, I would add this. The value of an idea like OLPC is basically zero. It is the ability to execute the idea that gives it value. If Intel can out-execute OLPC, then so be it - they deserve the sales.

Who cares if OLPC or Intel or someone else supply the laptop - if there is a need for it, what's important is that it gets done. Competition is good - why should OLPC have a monopoly in that market because they had the idea "first" (if that's even true, which I doubt anyway).

RE: true colors
By retrospooty on 12/3/2007 1:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
"now we see the true colors of Intel coming out... they sat on the board, liked the idea and made their own cheap laptop... another idea stolen (AMD64 anyone)"

And what exactly is wrong with that? You make it sound like Intel is a bunch of chumps because they took the AMD64 idea and ran with it. Should you be reminded that AMD took the whole x86 idea from Intel and did the same thing... which is a much larger "borrowing" of concept than AMD64 was.

RE: true colors
By AntDX316 on 12/3/2007 2:06:48 PM , Rating: 3
yea well he didnt enter the pc world before AMD came out so u cant really blame him for his lack of knowledge

RE: true colors
By retrospooty on 12/3/2007 2:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
LOL got wiki?

RE: true colors
By Oregonian2 on 12/3/2007 2:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
... another idea stolen (AMD64 anyone)

That idea was not stolen. Not even close. Now, details of the implementation I'd agree were probably 'stolen', but not the idea of it. The idea of it is exactly the same as the idea (and method) of going from 16bits->32bits. And for that matter all previous compatible upgrades to the x86 product line since the 8008 processor. Now the 8008 upgrade to 8080's did involve binary opcode changes, but the register and instruction set was a direct superset so the 8008 assembly (or binary) could be directly mapped upward. So original 8008 assembly code could probably be directly assembled and run on a Core 2 processor. No, the idea of doing binary superset instruction sets to extend the x86 to wider data widths was not invented by AMD. It's just ironic that Intel had decided to stop doing that (which is how they came to dominate) and make a new architecture while AMD continued to go along Intel's path using Intel's own methods to such a success that Intel had to switch back to their own old ways.

RE: true colors
By Oakley516 on 12/3/2007 5:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
Negroponte will still be happy about it since his main focus is on getting laptops to the children.

He doesn't care if they are Intel laptops or OLPC laptops, as long as the children can learn.

By Oakley516 on 12/3/2007 5:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
This has to be the funniest sentence of this story:

"Peru now joins ranks of XO owning nations like Uruguay."

Ranks?? XO owning nations??

Funny stuff :)

OLPC value
By tanishalfelven on 12/3/2007 1:54:08 PM , Rating: 1
OLPC was great value when it was $100 (and yesi know the dollar is devalued these days so i shouldn't compare but still.)

but for something around 200 dollars these countries could make better investments. like libraries, school, computer labs in school, lots and lots of textbooks.

at its current price the OLPC argument fail to impress. $200 gets a lot of books (so the ebook argument fails).

260 Grand computers can furnish many many many many schools with computers (desktops) that kids could share.

i'm not saying third world does not need these. quite the contrary, i am from a third world country and know the effects access to instant information and computer literacy can have.

but giving laptops to kids is not the solution. they need to be given access to computers, but also training, and in a controlled enviorment so their parents can't trade the laptops for drug money. hell i'm a college student in US and still don't have my own laptop.

lastly i;ve seen pictures od kids using this is school to take notes. that probably the worst idea ever. typing on a keybaord maybe fast but nothing and i mean nothing beats the actual learning that happens when you write stuff.

for the above point i'd like to add i'm someone whose tried a lot to switch to electronic note taking and studying. from ebooks, to scanning books to using an addesso cyber pad (google it) to take notes. in the end i'v switched back to plain paper and pen because all the other ways never really allow you study and learn without being disrupted by the medium.

ps. WOW i did not know i'd write so much on this. back to work. :(

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