One Laptop Per Child Campaign Offers New Package for Kids, Hope For Linux

Dennis Faas's picture

The One Laptop Per Child campaign is said to be one of the largest foreign relief efforts to be given no financial government assistance. The campaign hopes to put simple laptop computers in the hands of children from Third World countries.

When I first reported about the OLPC project back in July, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) were embroiled in a battle to see which company would contribute most to the venture. All attention that had initially been focused on the campaign has since been put on the backburner as the nostalgia of charity wore off and profits continued to be the main focus of both companies. (Source:

Whether large companies contribute to the effort really does not change the underlying ingredient for the campaign to be a success: consumer spending.

The inexpensive laptops (now referred to as the XO Laptop) will be sold as a bundle option known as the "Buy One, Give One" package. After a relatively small payment of $399, good Samaritans will receive two XO Laptops; one of which will be sent to a third world country with the other kept by the charitable consumer. Many feel that the "Buy One, Give One" package provides a great incentive to kick-start the program. (Source:

As the holiday spirit returns once again, many are hoping that Intel and AMD will keep their promise to contribute substantially to the project so that the price of XO Laptops will continue to fall.

Quanta Computer, the contract manufacturers of the XO Laptop, believes that 5 million to 10 million units could be sent to countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Thailand and Uruguay in the coming year.

Not only is that an astounding figure, but if the people who organize OLPC are able to achieve this goal, it would have an astronomical impact on the operating system world. The XO Laptop runs a variant of Linux; when 10 million kids grow up using this new OS, their future operating system purchases will lean towards a familiar product. (Source:

Microsoft, beware!

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