The OLPC project has had a welcome injection of orders from a market that was once among their most-vocal critics. The Indian government have bought 250,000 XO laptops, after their attempts to create a $10 laptop rival failed; the challenge began after a successful 2007 trial of the OLPC’s machine in which 20 XO units were placed in a Maharashtra school.
India’s challenger, however, was revealed to be a basic storage device that required connection to external peripherals – including a display – in order to access saved education materials. The final nail in the device was its estimated price-tag, which turned out to be three-times the original much-vaunted $10 figure.
No timescale for the delivery of the XO laptops has been revealed, although the Indian government has made public its plans to distribute the machines to students throughout the country. OLPC recently announced that they would be switching from AMD chips to the VIA C7-M processor in future XO models, together with a RAM boost to 1GB and storage to 4GB.