Intel Leaves OLPC Hanging

Intel seems to be power-tripping lately, as they recently pulled out of the OLPC program for reasons described as philosophical disagreements with the founders. C’mon Intel, don’t you have a heart? This seems somewhat predictable, as Intel has been working on their Classmate laptop for some time now, a direct competitor to OLPC in many ways.

I can see how Intel would want to take over the cheap laptop market, but I must question why they left OLPC (seemingly) high and dry? They can’t say that there aren’t enough chips to go around. The good news is that OLPC will continue on using AMD as its main chip supplier for their gear.

It should be interesting to see how things turn out, but given the last revision of the ‘Classmate’ laptop, I don’t see how Intel could take over the market. In the end, Asus is the real winner with their Eee Laptops (that seem to be selling like hot cakes). As prices drop (as they always do with tech stuff), the Eee could possibly be the next OLPC at home and abroad.

Ponzi wants an Eee with XP. Whee!


19 thoughts on “Intel Leaves OLPC Hanging”

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  3. Man thats bs i think it would be completly difrent if it wasent for a good cause. You would think that it would be good to have your name on somthing that does such good for the world but i guess not

    thanks afro

  4. hey i think that intel needs to open up more and finsh and try out what needs to been done because i still rooting for amd

  5. I thought the OLPC was a great idea when I first heard about it. The computer looked to be a well-made piece of hardware with usable programs for kids. I really like hearing about programs like this and if I had the money to drop on the OLPC, I probably would have during this holiday season.

    It kind of stinks that they are pulling out of the OLPC program. I wish that companies and organizations could work these kind of things out for the benefit of all, but that’s not what happens when money gets in the way. However, I am not placing any kind of blame, I don’t know enough about it at this point to do so.

    And the EEE PC looks awesome. I saw some online reviews and it looks like it’s just my style, since all I do on a pc is read stuff online, do email, and some other basic stuff.

  6. I think that most of the big companies care nothing about they people and are all for the money. Why would you not want to help out a good cause Intel?

  7. Quite simply, Negroponte wanted Intel to stop selling its Classmate laptop in regions where he was trying to sell the XO laptop.

    But the move sort of reminds me of NBC’s Jeff Zucker, demanding a cut of iPod revenue in return for selling NBC shows through iTunes at Apple’s pricing terms. Did the OLPC really think Intel would stop supplying other companies with low-cost chips simply because it asked? It would be sort of like if Dell asked Intel to stop selling HP and Apple Core 2 Duo chips, simply because Dell thought its latest XPS laptop was a more righteous product.

  8. One Laptop Per Child or OLPC is a program developed to support under developed countries that could not support to give out tools for children’s education. I know that OLPC can do way better without Intel. Even Bill & Melinda Gates has helped the project’s funding, but Intel wants to profit from it. Not fair in my opinion!

  9. Intel chips in OLPC Machines? Thats kinda of a stupid idea in my opinion, there trying to make it more affordable, I understand where they are coming from but still use some cheaper chip, wouldnt be worth it.

  10. I read about the whole OLPC thing. There seem like really cool little laptops and for only about $100 there not to bad. I can believe that intel would pull out.

  11. I really think that Intel shouldn’t have done this as well…it just seems that it wasn’t a really bright thing for them to do.

  12. That seems ridiculous to me. When I heard about it my stomach turned. Intel makes enough money as it is. 1000 USD for a quad core cpu would seem to be enough. That OLPC was a fantastic idea and intel did a big dent. Hopefully AMD makes it up.

  13. I dunno, Intel is hardly an angelic company (AMD isn’t either for that matter), but something about the OLPC project has always had a funny smell to it. I remember first reading about the project (Fortune Magazine, the first December ’05 issue IIRC) and having high hopes for its potential, but Negroponte appears to have been a better salesman to first-world journalists than to developing countries, and that is one of the major reasons this project has failed to take off. But even the countries that are buying them don’t necessarily have the infrastructure set-up to support the units – and Negroponte still hasn’t even remotely addressed those concerns – which makes it hard for me to take him seriously.

    Plus, I remember back at the very beginning of the OLPC pitch (before the product existed, and again, I’m paraphrasing from that same Fortune piece), that Negroponte talked about selling a higher-end version to western markets to help subsidize the third-world version. Basically, the EEE. Instead of pursuing that, they scarped that plan for this really unattractive “get one, give one” campaign to try to make up for the fact that they still can’t get costs to that magic $100 level.

    And maybe it’s just me – but I think Intel has a much better chance of reaching that $100 goal than OLPC has of staying in business past next year.

  14. I am surprised that Intel and OLPC lasted together this long. According to other stories, Intel used its position in the OLPC board simply as a sales pitch for its own laptop. It would go into a meeting and tell them, “the OLPC is unsuitable for your country, because …, and we should know because we sit on the OLPC board of directors”. I don’t think Intel ever had any intention of helping OLPC, it just wanted to get insider information on the project so that they can better compete against it. It’s a bit like McDonald’s sitting on the board of the World Food Program so that it can setup McDonald’s restaurants in a starvation area. Except McDonald’s wouldn’t be so evil, but apparently Intel is.

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