Print 21 comment(s) - last by JustTom.. on Apr 30 at 1:19 AM

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 JustTom on 4/26/2008 10:43:29 AM , Rating: 2
Your forgetting the target audience have never used a computer. No need to go with standards then such as XP.

Except perhaps when they enter university or the workforce and are completely baffled by a new OS shell.

RE: Wrong.
By larson0699 on 4/28/2008 12:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
That's a while off. And whose worry is that, anyway?

To deviate from established standards^W^W monopolies isn't risky enough (as far as your concern of 'I-expect-a-menu-here' goes) to outweigh the practicality of any formidable alternative. If on style alone, GNOME is a good example of one effortless desktop experience that isn't Windows.

(In theory) I would never sway my children from learning many unique approaches to the same point, be it a computer or anything. They may not grow into 89% geek like I did, but they sure as day wouldn't go on believing that Windows is computers as a lot of us just kind of "understood".

I have nothing against Microsoft; chopped 75% off of XP and use it everyday happily. But I do like people to know of their choices.

I believe that at present there isn't a better free OS for this thing than Ubuntu (though Debian/SYSV wouldn't be my personal choice for legacy hardware) but if it ever ripens, ReactOS would be the killer app.

RE: Wrong.
By JustTom on 4/30/2008 1:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I don't disagree with you, I think XP would be an awful choice as an OS for this audience. However, valid arguments can certainly be made otherwise. Sugar is hardly the end all and be all of OS shells.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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