OLPC And Intel Split Over Friction From Competing Laptop

from the sore-losers dept

Last year, after a very public spat with Intel over its competing Classmate PC, the One Laptop Per Child project appeared to patch up its differences with Intel and welcome them as a supporter. Now, they've had a nasty breakup, with each blaming the other for the separation. Intel said OLPC had demanded it stop selling the Classmate PC as a condition of continuing as a supporter of the OLPC project. OLPC head Nicolas Negroponte countered that Intel had "contributed nothing of value" to the OLPC project in the last six months. Negroponte's claims don't make a lot of sense. If Intel had merely failed to contribute resources to the project, that would hardly justify such a public and acrimonious split. The only other complaint, that Intel "continued to disparage" OLPC's product after joining the project, suggests that Negroponte is tacitly conceding that Intel's Classmate PC was the real sore point. As we said last year, this seems like a case of sour grapes on Negroponte's case. It's ridiculous to think that in a world with hundreds of millions of poor children there should only be one low-cost laptop design. Giving governments in developing countries more options can only be a good thing for poor kids. Negroponte sniffs that "we view the children as a mission; Intel views them as a market." But if Intel is able to provide developing countries with a better laptop at a lower price—and turn a profit in the process—what's wrong with that? Losing those sales might bruise Negroponte's ego, but it's hard to see how it's bad for the kids whose interests Negroponte claims to champion.

Filed Under: $100 laptop, nicholas negroponte, olpc
Companies: intel, olpc


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2008 @ 12:08am

    Re: There are more important things...

    There is one type of comment, heard about so many things, that goes like the above comment: "we shouldn't be doing/supporting X because there is such a strong need to do Y!"

    When money and resources are limited, expending them should be prioritized according to greatest need. To do otherwise is know as "squandering" resources.

    I cannot believe that anyone can put up such an argument. Following that argument, we shouldn't be doing ANYTHING except for some agreed-upon MOST IMPORTANT thing. Give me a break!

    Let's do ALL the things that need doing, depending on each person's interests and concerns.


    They aren't exactly giving these things away. They're trying to get poor governments to spend money on these computers instead of more important things like food, water, and medical care. Money that could be used to save lives instead. So you wind up with more kids dead and that's a shame.

    If you want to waste your own resources, that's one thing. But don't do it to poor families in third world countries.

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