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May 22, 2007

Negroponte Complains that Intel is Trying to Kill OLPC Program

So, Nicholas Negroponte complains that Intel is trying to kill his One Laptop Per Child program.  Intel is offering competing laptops to governments running $3 copies of Windows.  Negroponte needs 3 million orders to make the project viable.  Reports are that he has about half of that.  He claims that Intel is doing this because his machine is powered by an AMD processor.  The OLPC machine also uses Linux as the operating system.

There seems to be this feeling that because there is this element of philanthropy involved in his project that the rest of the world should back off.  He should realize instead that he's uncovered a market for the corporate interests, and companies such as Intel and Microsoft are willing to compete.  Why should Intel and Microsoft concede a market to AMD and Linux.  It's not as if they are doing anything illegal or even questionable enough to cause a congressional hearing on the issue.

What is more important?  Getting computing power in the hands of the children of developing nations, or getting his computers in their hands?  I'm surprised that with all the novel thought that went into OLPC that Negroponte didn't anticipate this development. 

See the story in PC World for more details.

May 22, 2007 | Permalink

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