Intel's OLPC pullout sets up XO vs Classmate PC duel

Intel's OLPC pullout sets up XO vs Classmate PC duel

Summary: Intel's brief partnership with the One Laptop Per Child project has officially ended.According to multiple reports , mostly following The Wall Street Journal, Intel and OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte split over one irreconcilable difference.


Intel's brief partnership with the One Laptop Per Child project has officially ended.

According to multiple reports , mostly following The Wall Street Journal, Intel and OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte split over one irreconcilable difference. Negroponte wanted Intel to kill its Classmate PC when it was part of the OLPC.

Also: My two weeks with the XO

OLPC's XO laptop runs on an AMD chip. According to Intel, the OLPC and Intel approaches just didn't mesh. Intel said there was more than one solution. OLPC hasn't commented.

Frankly, it's a little unclear what exactly happened, but Intel has its side of the story out. If it played out as Intel describes the breakup doesn't make a lot of sense. Why would Negroponte expect Intel to drop Classmate just because it's working with the OLPC? As Christopher Dawson notes the Classmate is a fine choice.

Is Microsoft going to drop Windows XP for Linux because it's working with the OLPC?

The Intel pullout is likely to set a face-off between the Classmate and XO and the FUD that's likely to emerge isn't necessary given the mission. On the bright side, there will be lots of competition now. Also see Dawson's ideal education ultraportable.

Topic: Intel

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  • Follow the money - there's your answer.

    I wonder if Negroponte wanted Intel to not only kill the competing Classmate (we don;t need no stink'n competition) but also wanted Intel to send money to AMD for life support on their end of the XO project. Hmmm
    • Negroponte wants money

      If I remember correctly, Negroponte has a history of being investigated for financial irregualrities by bodies such as the UN, as well as US domestic agencies. To date, he has had the connections and clout to avoid prosecution.

      IMHO, he wanted cash infusions for himself and/or family members, and Intel likely said "no". Why pay a premium to buy a product or service from one or more of his family members or friends when Intel can simply create a better product than the XO and be rid of him?

      I suspect that the OLPC is rife with waste and mismanagement, and I hope EEE + Classmate wallop XO. If XO survives, it will be better for the competition.
      • I don't think you remember correctly.

        A google search with "nicolas negroponte investigated" and "nicolas negroponte scandal" provided zero hits regarding financial irregularities of any type. The only current "scandal" today is the Nigeria rip off King going after OLPC.

        Why slander someone who has devoted many years, steered through undoubtably $millions of incentives to slow down, make mistakes, give up and is now delivering a seriously amazing product to those in need?

        Competition is always good, but just trying to put something as malicious as you have with no references seems pretty underhanded. I'll take it all back if you can point me to something that substantiates the scandals.

        • No slander attempt

          1. My recollection is subject to memory, and perhaps my memory is different from yours. I do not know your age or experience, but I do know that I have seen information regarding investigations and Mr. Negroponte, regardless of whether or not Google has it indexed. Believe it or not, Google does not have everything ever printed or reported. They are large, but not that large - yet.

          2. If you worked in investigations and had access to the non-public and public data to which such people have access, you might have a different understanding of facts. Recall that Kofi Annan was frequently investigated for questionable activities at the UN, and from time to time, Mr. Negroponte's name would surface in the course fo those things.

          Granted, being named or even indicted does not equate to a conviction - just ask any alleged mobster (yes, I know there is no such thing as the mob). However, people and institutions which are known for being rife with fraud and deceit are never above suspicion. Just because someone chooses to be highly suspect of anything involving the UN or similar organizations or officials - such as Mr. Negroponte - does not indicate any intent to slander or any malice. Such pronouncements are of your own making, not mine.

          Malice is not the point - I hope that XO can compete. I have strong dounts when a product costs $100, but then I must pay $200 and be forced to send one (supposedly - I really have no way to know if one gets sent or if the money just gets pocketed by one or mor people) overseas.

          Perhaps it should have been better fleshed out, but I assure you, no malice was intended - just very strong skepticism.
    • It's not the money, it's the (collective) ego

      It's simple, Negroponte is at MIT, and everything started at MIT is the optimum, there's no use for anyone else to try anything else, don't go there, game over. I've seen it lots of times, for lots of things. Provincialism (okay, snottiness) to the extreme.
  • Robin Harris will be here shortly to call you an adult

  • you do NOT remember correctly

    and i challenge you to find a single story about waste in the olpc program or any stories about nicholas negroponte. i suggest you keep you uneducated thoughts/delusions/slander to yourself.
  • you logic doesn't make sense

    does negroponte have a large equity position in amd? what could he possibly have to gain from intel supporting amd? if amd disappeared tomorrow don't you think intel would be more than happy to sell the olpc processors chips?! intel is a chip/chipset company first and foremost they are NOT a system integration company (aside from a few whiteboxes).
  • after reading the wsj article

    it seems that the intel pr department has been working overtime - they claim that negroponte demanded they not only stop selling the classmate but also stop supplying chips to other laptops that are targeted towards schoolchildren in developing countries. those type of requests just do not seem like something negroponte would make.
  • Too much dose of monolithic corporate model

    I guess what's happening is that there's too much dose of the corporate mononolithic model in OLPC.

    Hey, look I've done this AMD Geode deployment in a school and my corporate budget = 0. Thanks to the hard work by Puppy Linux developers:

    So Intel is right in saying that there ought to be alternatives in getting computing to education.

    Although, it is AMD that has the truly relevant (green) technology. It's just too sad that they only focused on OLPC.