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OLPC's legacy could be the technology developed to make the XO Notebook possible, not the XO Notebook itself

Walter Bender was the president of software and content for the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC). One of his main tasks with the OLPC was to design the interface for the notebook called Sugar. Last week Bender resigned from his position with OLPC.

Xconomy says that the decision to leave was in part because of a split Bender had with founder Nicholas Negroponte over how the foundation should continue its role in the computing world. Bender told Xconomy that he disagreed with Negroponte’s move to de-emphasize projects like Sugar and become more closely associated with established firms in the software business like Microsoft.

Microsoft has previously stated that a version of Windows XP would be running on the XO notebook eventually. Bender says, “If you read between the lines, the idea is to stop trying to be disruptive and to start trying to make things comfortable for decision-makers. Personally, I think that…a role that a non-profit can play is to try to demonstrate better ways of doing things and let the market follow them. But that is a minority opinion [within OLPC], so I left to do my own thing.”

Xconomy says that the legacy of the OLPC may end up not being the XO Notebook itself, but rather the technologies that were developed in order to make the XO Laptop viable. Bender and his Sugar interface aren’t the only technology spin-offs that have come out of the OLPC.

Former CTO Mary Lou Jepsen left the OLPC to form her own company called Pixel Qi to build and market energy-saving screens and other technology originally developed for the OLPC XO Notebook. The technology that both Bender and Jepsen develop could eventually turn up in consumer devices and competing low cost notebooks like the Intel Classmate in the future.



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RE: Wrong.
By InternetGeek on 4/25/2008 5:25:56 PM , Rating: 1
Oh wait, so by your two accounts the XO/OLPC should not try to:

- Let people organize in groups and try to come up with ideas on how to better their towns
- Share knowledge on how to run their farms or whatever
- Allow kids to network with kids from other towns and countries and learn stuff they can use

but rather:

- Learn their Linux distro quite well

hmmm, I kind of see why Negroponte is kicking some people out. You know, like people who forget that the objective is to get these people into the modern economy so they can look after themselves but want only to get bigger figures for open source acceptance by turning all these kids into programmers.

Guys, really, get some brains. The small group of these kids who will pursue an IT career will have the knowledge to make up their minds on what use. Instead of wasting time and teaching them how to configure ther 'nix box they should be learning how to improve their surroundings and situations.

At least that beats them learning how to forge an US Social Security number and jumping some fences and walls... You get the point now?


RE: Wrong.
By Justin Case on 4/25/2008 10:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think they need to "configure" anything? Have you ever used (or even looked at) an XO laptop?

The system is designed to be used by kids with zero experience with computers. Put someone with absolutely no experience in front of a Windows box and watch what happens (hint: not much; they'll probably hose the system before they manage to do anything productive). Give an XO to a group of kids and you'll be amazed.

This isn't a "PC", it's an educational toy. It's a lot more like Lego than like a regular laptop.


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