01:08 AM

Foremski's Take: Intel Pulls Out of One Laptop Per Child Project

According to Intel, [Nick] Negroponte asked the chipmaker to stop selling its Classmate PC while it was part of the OLPC [one laptop per child], which is currently shipping its XO laptop based on a chip from AMD. The Classmate PC was one of the sources of friction between Negroponte and Intel before they joined forces in July. Negroponte went on 60 Minutes in May and accused Intel of dumping Classmate PCs below cost in order to keep OLPCs out of the hands of needy children.

From CNET: Intel leaves the OLPC after dispute - By Tom Krazit

Foremski's Take: MIT's Mr Negroponte is making a classic mistake of identifying with the hardware instead of with the noble concept of bridging the global digital divide and bringing computing to students in the developing world. If he left it to Intel and the others to figure out the hardware and he concentrated on the evangelizing, which is his strength, the project would progress much faster.

Intel "dumping" laptops is a good thing, it provides low cost laptops. Using Intel and Asus, and others to design and manufacture the motherboards, etc, is a good thing. Create a common set of specs for a OLPC and let the massive PC industry compete and produce the laptops.

You'll get a much better price and you will have several giants helping with the promotion and distribution. Otherwise you have to deal with the difficulty of design, manufacture, and distribution which require economies of scale to be marginally profitable and sustainable.

(Intel is one of the sponsors of Silicon Valley Watcher.)

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