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OLPC founder, Negroponte, has a few words for Intel on low-cost laptops

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the "One Laptop Per Child" initiative, accused chip maker Intel of undermining the OLPC by selling its own cut-price laptop, the Classmate.  Negroponte claims that Intel is trying to drive him out of the market.

According to BBC, Negroponte said that Intel hurt his mission in trying to distribute laptops to kids in developing countries "enormously".  Intel's chairman, Craig Barrett, has denied all claims of undercutting Negroponte's mission, stating, "We're not trying to drive [him] out of business. We're trying to bring capability to young people."

Though the hardware specifications differ between Intel’s low-cost laptops and Negroponte's, OLPC founder believes that the main problem is that his machines use AMD processors, Intel's main competitor. "Intel and AMD fight viciously," he told CBS. "We're just sort of caught in the middle."

Professor Negroponte also claimed that Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments entailing negative aspects of the One Laptop Per Child and outlining superior aspects of the Classmate.  Some of the literature had titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach".  Intel responded by saying that it was just making comparisons between the Classmate PC and the other device in the market.

Countries have until May 31 to place their orders for the first round of PCs.  The launch price will be $175 but the goal is to get them down to $100 each.  Intel is taking orders for the Classmate for over $200 each.

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RE: Economics 101
By RjBass on 5/21/2007 11:05:46 PM , Rating: 3
Apparently you have not spent much time in a third world nation.

Most of these laptops will be delivered to children who don't even have books in school. Each laptop is being given to the child to keep. Have you ever seen an underprivileged child with one good sole possession? That child will take care of it for life, until the laptop is 10+ years old. He will pass it down to younger brothers and sisters etc......

The children of third world nations need this. If they don't have books, and other basic tools for a proper education then how can they even think about competing in a modern day market when they are older? These children not only get the vast wealth of knowledge from the Internet, but the basic skills to perform a better job.

What's more, these kids are expected to fix and service their own laptops (The Intel version does not have this option) so not only will they get a better education, but they will also learn the basics about computer repair.

So a underprivileged kid gets one of these new laptops, he downloads all the information he needs for his report due next week, and after school he takes it home, to his hut that doesn't have electricity or running water, and thanks to the hand crank he can continue to work on his report regardless if the Internet connection exist or not. That is another feature that the Intel laptop does not provide.

The $100 laptop can be dunked in water, dropped from 10+ feet etc...

The $100 laptop was built for a child, looks like it is for a child, is designed specifically for a child. Have you even seen the Intel laptop? It looks and acts just like a miniature regular laptop, and most def won't stand the test of time in the dust, dirt, mud, and basic surroundings of a third world nation.

Intel's only motive to this whole thing is purely $$. Again they are trying to do nothing but drive the little guy out of business and thus will be hurting everybody else in the process.

The $100 laptop for these kids is an excellent idea that will be worth more then it's weight in gold.

I have already seen the benefits of these laptops in use, and to even try to describe how these kids feel now with these things is impossible. It is amazing.

RE: Economics 101
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 5/22/2007 9:55:47 AM , Rating: 4
Oh what a wonderful vision.

Look, the reason most third world countries *are* third world countries is because of corrupt and/or incompetitent governments. Laptops are not going to fix that.

Do you think these laptops will actually make it to the kids who need them? Or will they be bartered away just like the food shipments for famine victims?

To me this is all about rich nerds trying to absolve their own guilt about being rich. A lot of style and very little substance.

RE: Economics 101
By Oregonian2 on 5/22/2007 5:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's a nice vision, but that $100 laptop has a price of $175.

If his effort has to hide behind ignorance of its downsides and that Intel is bad for exposing his vision's faults, then maybe his vision wasn't so good afterall and maybe was just an ego thing with him -- which would explain that which sounds like whining.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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