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OLPC and Intel part ways

Intel and OLPC agreed to collaborate last July on an Intel-based version of OLPC's XO laptop. While the deal raised quite a few eyebrows at the time, given Intel's criticism of the OLPC and their aggressive piloting of their own Classmate PC, Intel announced today that it had left the OLPC Association.
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Written by Christopher Dawson on

Intel and OLPC agreed to collaborate last July on an Intel-based version of OLPC's XO laptop. While the deal raised quite a few eyebrows at the time, given Intel's criticism of the OLPC and their aggressive piloting of their own Classmate PC, Intel announced today that it had left the OLPC Association. Similarly, it resigned its position on the OLPC Board of Directors. While Agnes Kwan, a spokesperson for Intel, reported that the decision was mutual, a PC World piece suggests that pressure from Nicholas Negroponte to abandon the Classmate project prompted the split:

...during discussions in the months following the July deal, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte insisted that Intel abandon the Classmate PC effort in favor of throwing its support behind OLPC's XO device, [a source close familiar with the situation] said. But the Classmate PC is undergoing tests in several countries and Intel was not prepared to walk away from those efforts, according to the source.

I, for one, am glad to hear of the split. Not only is there plenty of room for competition in this market, but having tested the Classmate extensively, I would be very sorry to see it shelved in favor of a competing product. The market currently filled by the Asus Eee, Intel Classmate, and OLPC XO has room for incredible growth, both in developed and developing countries. If all parties involved simply focus on producing the best, most innovative products, then we benefit as consumers. Most importantly, kids, whether in Massachusetts or Libya, gain access to really useful technology at attainable prices as quickly as possible.

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