One Laptop Per Child order reports 'incorrect'

OLPC has said it is telling countries not to place orders just yet, contradicting earlier reports that orders had already hit the 4 million mark
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Reports that Brazil, Nigeria, Argentina and Thailand have each committed to buying a million laptops from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme are "incorrect", a spokesperson for the project has told ZDNet UK.

"We have not signed any agreements for orders, but we are in communication with the countries mentioned. OLPC has asked that all interested parties wait to see a working machine before placing their orders," the spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"The machines have not yet been manufactured, though we do currently have 500 of our A-test motherboards distributed amongst open-source developers world-wide as part of our developer programme," said the spokesperson, adding that the OLPC project does not yet have a commercial version underway.

According to the reports, OLPC programme director for Middle East and Africa Khaled Hassounah had confirmed the commitment of all four countries.

OLPC, which is headed by former MIT Media Lab director Nicholas Negroponte, aims to distribute millions of Linux-powered laptops to needy children across the developing world.

The project has been criticised as "pedagogically suspect" by India, which has rejected the offer. Authorities there said giving the country's schoolchildren a laptop each could harm their creative thinking and analytical abilities.

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