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Even though the price of the OLPC has risen to $175, it is still cheaper than alternative projects

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) group recently announced that its low-cost laptop would be raised from $100 up to $175, but the group is still confident that enough orders will be placed for the group to begin mass production before September.  The goal behind the project is planning to offer inexpensive notebook computers to school children in developing nations.

Even with an increased price tag of $175, the notebooks are still much cheaper than what the computer industry has traditionally offered.  OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte previously stated the price of the notebooks could drop almost 25 percent per year.

A number of factors have caused the increase in the laptop, including design costs and a raise in price of nickel.

"We are perhaps at the most critical stage of OLPC's life," said Negroponte.

Using a modified version of Red hat Linux, the Quanta Computer-built laptop offers users an interface that has pictographic icons instead of traditional windows and folders.

OLPC reportedly already has 2.5 million unit orders, but has to reach the 3 million order mark before May 30, or the group's hardware suppliers will not have enough time to get parts ready, according to Negroponte.

OLPC officials said on Thursday that it may offer laptops to U.S. schools, even though the group previously said that the laptops would be for foreign children only.

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Why Windows?
By themadmilkman on 4/29/2007 5:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
It's interesting that Windows eventually ended up on the machine. Negroponte was initially very adament that the project use an open-source operating system. He even very publicly turned down Apple's offer of a free OS for the project. At the same time, Bill Gates was publicly opposed to the OLPC project, essentially calling it a waste of time and resources.

And now the OLPC project is using Windows. Does anybody else find that odd?

RE: Why Windows?
By wien on 4/29/2007 8:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm, what?
Using a modified version of Red hat Linux, the Quanta Computer-built laptop offers users an interface that has pictographic icons instead of traditional windows and folders.

RE: Why Windows?
By themadmilkman on 4/29/2007 1:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
However, Negroponte disclosed that XO's developers have been working with Microsoft so a version of Windows can run on the machines as well. It could be the $3 software package that Microsoft announced last week for governments that subsidize student computers. It includes Windows XP Starter Edition and some of Microsoft's "productivity" software.

Maybe I've read a little too far into this, but we all know Microsoft's history in allowing competing operating systems to exist. How long until this machine ONLY comes with Windows? How many potential buyers are going to demand that it comes with Windows now that it's a possibility, since "Windows is the standard, and our kids need to learn standards."? My high school did this. Want to take a guess at how useful my classes using Windows 95 were ten years later?

More importantly, it shows a fairly dramatic shift in Negroponte's stand, and one that I don't particularly like.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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