In yet another bizarre twist to the unravelling OLPC saga, former-CTO Mary Lou Jepsen has established a rival company - Pixel Qi - and announced plans to develop and market a $75 laptop using low-power displays she patented while working on the One Laptop Per Child project.
After the surprise withdrawal of Intel from the OLPC board (taking their money, technical support, potential chip supply and order-poaching salespeople home with them), news comes from the Negroponte camp that they've been working on adding dual-boot Linux and Windows XP to the laptop.
The surprise pull-out of Intel from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project might have been down to an Intel saleswoman's aggressive marketing tactics with an Peruvian education minister, attempting to dissuade the official from ordering thousands of OLPC XO1 units in favour of the chip-manufacturer's own Classmate PC.
The main challenge for the OLPC team was meant to be finding enough orders for their developing-nation laptops, but ructions between them and their hardware partners may be an even bigger struggle. Intel, who have both sat on the OLPC board and were possibly set to provide the processor for the PC, have resigned their position and withdrawn all technical and financial support after OLPC asked them to cease promoting rival low-cost laptops.
"OLPC had asked Intel to end our support for non-OLPC platforms, including the Classmate PC, and to focus on the OLPC platform exclusively. At the end of the day, we decided we couldn't accommodate that request" Chuck Molly, Intel Spokesman
OLPC is available for the US and Canada public starting today. For $399, the customer will receive two OLPC, one for the customer and one for a child in the developing country. Customer will also receive one year of free Wi-Fi access.
The OLPC availability is limited, the sale will start on 12th of November and ends on 26th of November. I know you can get Asus Eee for the same price; however buying OLPC also helps a child in developing countries.
Few people will argue the fact that the OLPC project is one with noble intentions. Sure, you could say that the money could be better spent on feeding the hungry, but educating the children of third world countries is also necessary for their survival. Unfortunately, many people are going to look at the steep $400 price tag and wonder if it is worth paying.
Yes, the fact that you payed twice as much for a laptop to ensure that a child in some third world country gets one should make you feel all fuzzy inside and make it all worth while. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way, and they need a little more initiative to make the donation. Thankfully, T-Mobile has stepped up and made it more than worth your while.
So many names, so few actual orders, as I understand it, the actual machine is called the XO, the OLPC is that name of the initiative behind it, and stands for One Laptop Per Child. The $100 laptop was a thing of the past back when they thought they could get it done for that price, now it’s a lot closer to $188.
Anyways, NickNeg has learned a lot about how things actually work in the business world and has learned the hardware that money talks and BS runs marathons. Sure, there were several countries that he shook hands with their heads and leaders saying they were going to buy a bunch of his laptops, but Uruguay is the first to actually hand over the dough.
Thanks to production delays that have seen a scheduled October start pushed back to November 12th, the OLPC "XO-1" laptop - previously known as the $100 laptop, but the price of which crept up t $188 at the last count - will not begin to deliver until December at the earliest. Blamed on "last-minute bugs", the hold up has cast doubts on whether One Laptop Per Child will be able to fulfil Christmas orders both to Peru, Uruguay and South America, as well as to the North America and Canada customers who will be able to pre-order the machine as part of the company's "Give 1 Get 1" scheme.
The "One Laptop Per Child" project has come in for some stick recently thanks to the spate of price hikes, but don't let that put you off too much; early testers have come away feeling incredibly positive about the OLPC, both the innovative OS and the clever hardware design. Now, with government orders conspicuous by their absence, the team behind the laptop is offering to prematurely sell you one - that is, if you buy one for you and one for a child in a developing country.
Reading LAPTOP Magazine's hands-on experience of the OLPC (formerly the $100 laptop, currently the $188 laptop) the one thing that leaped out at me was the ease of networking. Designed for use in areas sometimes disconnected from the internet, the OLPC relies on mesh networks of interconnected units that - if their experience is anything to go by - blows networking on "grown up" computers out of the water. One-click to create a shared environment - magic!