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OLPC's Negroponte seeks truce with Intel and deal with Microsoft

During a presentation at the Consumer Electronic Show this afternoon, One Laptop Per Child's Nicholas Negroponte didn't address the recent rift between Intel and his organization.
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Written by Dan Farber, Inactive on

During a presentation at the Consumer Electronic Show this afternoon, One Laptop Per Child's Nicholas Negroponte didn't address the recent rift between Intel and his organization.

Nicholas Negroponte and his baby, the OLPC

Intel recently unhooked itself from the OLPC board of directors, and Negroponte was not shy about blasting the chipmaker last week:

Despite OLPC’s best efforts to work things out with Intel and several warnings that their behavior was untenable, it is clear that Intel’s heart has never been in working collaboratively as a part of OLPC. This is well illustrated by the way in which our separation was announced single-handedly by Intel; Intel issued a statement to the press behind our backs while simultaneously asking us to work on a joint statement with them. Actions do speak louder than words in this case. As we said in the past, we view the children as a mission; Intel views them as a market.

News.com's Michael Kanellos has some good fodder he picked up during Negroponte's CES presentation:

Two of the individuals with OLPC sat directly behind me, and they talked extensively about the disagreement and their interaction with Intel before the speech. (To recap, Intel joined OLPC after a long public argument, but then recently pulled out.) I checked their badges to make sure they were with OLPC. Here are some of the highlights.

"They are so arrogant."

"Did you meet Swope (Intel exec Will Swope)? He was unimpressive."

"Working with Microsoft is a joy by comparison."

To be fair, there's probably not a lot of love lost on Intel's side. Chairman Craig Barrett, before the brief alliance with OLPC, often criticized the device. A number of companies are also chilly toward Negroponte. One Taipei executive told me that people in the last year have started to blame declines in Quanta Computer's stock on its association with OLPC. Contract manufacturer Quanta makes the OLPC and even built an entire manufacturing line for it.

Negroponte said on Tuesday that would welcome Intel back to OLPC, and denied that his group insisted that Intel abandon its Classmate PC, which could be perceived as a rival to the OLPC XO machine. Negroponte has cozied up to Microsoft as well, and said OLPC is working with Microsoft on a dual-boot version of the XO laptop that could run Linu or Windows.

See also: Larry's review of the OLPC

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