Print 84 comment(s) - last by Justin Case.. on May 23 at 5:06 PM

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 TomZ on 5/22/2007 12:50:59 PM , Rating: 0
So, you're preference is that OLPC have a monopoly in this market, rather than let Intel compete for the business, based on your fears about Intel trying to build or maintain a monopoly? What kind of flawed reasoning is that?

Also, you need to check your math. 500K/175*200 != 300K.

RE: Economics 101
By Justin Case on 5/22/2007 1:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
This is not a "market", this is a non-profit organization trying to get children out of poverty and give them an education. The last thing they need is the Intel marketing machine spreading FUD and trying to get 3rd world governments to buy less laptops for more money.

If Intel is interested in helping, all they have to do is supply the OLPC project with cheaper CPUs. They had a chance to do that (still do, in fact), and weren't interested. They're tryng to use marketing and FUD to make a profit at the expense of the people that the OLPC project is meant to help.

RE: Economics 101
By TomZ on 5/22/2007 3:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Negroponte did not claim that Intel is spreading misinformation about OLPC. Therefore, your accusation of FUD is off-base.

The thing that I read into this article is that Negroponte's ego is bruised because he got caught up in real-world competition. And yes, this is a "market" - why do you claim otherwise? OLPC has no inherent ability to be the only supplier of low-cost computers to developing nations.

Since there is a lot of money involved, obviously there's going to be competition. That's reality.

Finally, don't you think that even in the case of OLPC, that people are profiting from that? The whole supplier chain is profiting from OLPC, and not to mention the salaries that are paid by the OLPC organization to its employees.

RE: Economics 101
By Justin Case on 5/22/2007 11:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even bother to read the BBC article? Here:

And you might want to do a bit of research to understand what the OLPC actually is. Hint: it's not "just" a laptop, and it's a very different concept from Intel's (more expensive) "Classmate" laptop.

Finally, you might want to look up the meaning of "non-profit organization". Here:

Hint: people don't have to work for free or pull raw materials out of their ass to be considered an NPO.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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