One Laptop Per Child – Production Delays Caused By Microsoft, Intel?

What started off as a worthy project to bring laptop systems to the worlds children, now is facing production delays, and the systems may not get into the hands of children until late 2007. Rumors have surfaced that there could be some kind of manufacturing difficulties from the company that is going to produce these laptops, however, it seems very strange that two companies, Microsoft and Intel, may be playing a part in the delay as well.

This ambitious project started out with a projected cost of $100 and the laptops originally would be using non-Intel and non-Microsoft products. But this may be about to change. First Intel started to shed some doubt that any company, except naturally Intel, would be able to produce the projected 3 million + chips for the original project. OLPC also had the intentions of using a Linux version operating system for the laptops.

Last week I had mentioned that Microsoft was coming out with their $3.00 package offering of software targeting 3rd world countries. [See article here].

The plot thickens. This week it seems that the folks at OLPC have been in contact with Microsoft concerning this package and the possibility of using the $3.00 package instead of free Linux to power the system. Which would lead one to believe that the $3.00 package may need more horsepower to run. I wonder if Intel would have a chip sitting in the wings that would be ideal for this package? :-)

Here is what could happen. OLPC has already announced that the $100 laptop has increased in cost, and now could go as high as $175 per unit. If Microsoft and Intel get their pinkies into the project, that price could once again escalate. But if either Microsoft or Intel decide to subsidies the project, this price could be held at the $175 mark. Bill Gates has announced that he intends to bring computers to more than 1 billion people by the year 2015.

I sincerely hope that no matter what the people who are running the OLPC project decide, that their project will continue and not get bogged down in a play of corporate greed and ambitions.

What do you think? Will the involvement of either Microsoft or Intel prove the downfall to this once worthy project? Or will the OLPC project benefit from it?

Comments welcome.

[tags]OLPC, microsoft, intel, project, worthy, [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • marc klink

    I can’t believe that if they really tried, Motorola and IBM could not supply PowerPC chips for the laptops. After all, Apple isn’t going to be needing their output, plus Via could ramp up production.

    If MS and Intel get involved it cannot be good, because the costs will go up along with the power consumption.We don’t want all those children getting back problems carrying around huge batteries on those laptops.

    As I see it, the only way this could work for Intel is if they start manufacturing 486 chips again, and MS brings back Win 98…but then we’d have an inferior operating system on a CPU never designed to conserve power. Why bother when Linux and better processors are available now?

    What would be best for all concerned is putting the task out to bid, where the hardware and software have to meet the criteria of low price and power consumption, and acceptable computing power, at the RIGHT price. Then we’ll see who is both innovative and altruistic.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Marc,
    I hear you. Hopefully this will not be the case.

  • jason

    yeah, and wheres my kids laptop
    What a bunch of boring BULL, We know this for months.They dont care about shit, just the parents that can afford wallets and look good on the news!

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  • Phil

    Intel and MS both have the capital and resources to do what OLPC is dreaming of doing. Don’t get me wrong I think competition can be a good thing, one great idea is built on another, but what Intel is doing is clearly in accordance with the global conquest by American cooperations. Which is why capitalism is the undoing of this great country call the USA

    MS feels a great treat from Linux taking a foot hold in the so called 3 world markets thats the only reason they are involved with this. Like I said before the have the revenue to manifest this all on their own with no need for profit or assistance.

    So do they really care HELL NO one is motivated by greed power and the other by fear of not being applicable at all in devolving countries

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Phil,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinion. They are appreciated.
    Regards, Ron

  • Trey Masterson

    Either that TweetDeck, or Twitteriffic. Twitter’s official app is nice also. The paid Twitteriffic is probably the best overall. But that’s not free 😀

  • rob damiani

    Nope. I HAVE tried them all and the best one I can find is a toss up between Echofon and the Twitter APp itself with a slight nod to Echofon. I do like The Twitter app’s ability to quickly add “#” or “@” over Echofon. And it’s ability to quickly find and add a twitter name as you begin to type it.

  • Khal Mojo

    I don’t own an iPhone but it may be relevant anyway since TweetDeck is TweetDeck (and I’m assuming it’s the same software on Android & iPhone)… the one absolutely single reason I use the TweetDeck mobile app is because it doesn’t have an arbitrary ~200 post limit. If I leave TweetDeck on my Android unchecked for a week, letting it collect all those updates, I can read them all without missing a beat nor feel it tug or slow down.

    I like the interfaces of the other apps better but this is the thing that breaks them for me. If HootSuite for iPhone doesn’t set a limit on tweets in a feed in memory, I’d approve… until then, there’s no way anyone’s going to pry TweetDeck off my phone.

  • Aditya Chanana

    I prefer the official Twitter app because it simply rocks and sometimes I use Echofon.