Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Intel 'undermined' laptop project

Did Intel sabotage a plan to bring low-cost laptops to underprivileged children?

That is the accusation from professor Nicholas Negroponte who developed the XO laptop and has been trying to distribute them through the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

The XO laptop is a durable, easy-to-use, laptop designed to introduce children in the world’s poorest countries to computers. The laptop has a wind-up battery charger (so it can be used in areas that do not have electricity service), wirelessly networks with other computers automatically, and has a simple user-interface based on open-source software.

OPLC formed partnerships with a number of computer firms (including Intel) to mass produce the XO, with a goal of reducing the cost of the laptops to $100 per unit.

Negroponte has accused Intel of trying to undercut the OLPC project by selling their own product, the Classmate, at a loss to some of the same national governments XO was negotiating with.

The XO laptop has been distributed to several countries, but has not yet received the number of orders that will bring its production costs down to $100.
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