The country that has produced the world’s cheapest car is now saying that it will produce the world´s cheapest computer. Now, being familiar with the OLPC project, and knowing how hard it is to produce a $100 computer, I can´t believe that anything other than a calculator can be made for $10.

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yani on February 4, 2009  · 

Would go along with you. Knowing IT hardware business and the costs involved, below 50 USD is definitely possible but 10 USD seems to be quite overstreched (as of 2009 and the prices of 2009).

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Thomas Crampton on February 17, 2009  · 


Turns out, you were right:

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Beauty on March 14, 2009  · 

Move over Nicholas? Nicholas Negroponte’s vision of bringing affordable computing to every child on the planet was an excellent idea that should be celebrated. It is a shame that the One Laptop Per Child Foundation has laid off half its staff and is undertaking a significant reorganization that has nothing to do with the current economic clime. A good idea but its false mission statement was its Achilles’ heel. Low cost laptop OK but extreme low cost? Daft out of India!
The economies of scale for OLPC sounded good but it lost the momentum hence the no thanks from many. Anyway, when is it a good idea to send kids to school on empty stomachs? OLPC as a business enterprise is an organ of society and it is not cynical to point out that as your customer, I am hungry, feed me before you educate me! I am in chains, free me before you educate me! That is a huge barrier but Bill Gates puts it better, when children are dying and starving in parts of the world, easier internet access seems almost beside the point.

“It’s an education project, not a laptop project” is like shooting yourself in the foot. olpc should have prepared for the rival products (Intel, Microsoft) price wars in order to be in position to keep the dream. We may have forgotten about the social responsibilities and made the sales pitch but the associated costs of training the teachers (a huge number on strike over salary arrears) is still wanting. Asking people to do additional work without proper compensation is all part of the social system that olpc should have brought to the forefront. Those are olpc’s partners. Who has a big cheque book in order to keep the teachers 100% focused?
There are many more USPs that would help olpc eat Intel’s lunch in Africa and the rest of the third world. The carriers in countries where over 60% live below the poverty line, 256 kilobits per second (kbps)costs about $900 a month on top of $1500 for equipment equals qu’ils mangent de la brioche (let them eat cake). How does olpc partner with the carriers? While it is quiet on the finance front, olpc should/can keep its education project. How will it partner with Bob&Bono, Bill&Melinda, Bill&Hillary, UN and people with bigger guns? Including anyone for a piggy-back ride of partnerships in order to deliver this life programme? So you see, Move over Nicholas is not an option, he is on OLPCv2.


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