Intel Drops One Laptop Per Child Program

Dennis Faas's picture

In what's being called a big blow to a One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program designed to bring millions of low-cost laptop computers to children in developing countries, Intel Corp. has abandoned the program, citing disagreements with the organization. (Source:

Intel joined the OLPC board in July, agreeing to contribute money and technical expertise. The fallout came a few days before the OLPC-designed laptop that uses an Intel chip was going to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

According to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy, the company quit the non-profit project and the OLPC board due to a "philosophical impasse" between the two parties. In the meantime, Intel is continuing their own inexpensive laptop design called the "Classmate", marketing it in some of the same regions targeted by the OLPC.

Mulloy said the OLPC organization asked Intel to end their support for non-OLPC platforms, including the Classmate PC, and to focus on the OLPC platform exclusively. Intel decided to deny the request. OLPC was not immediately available for comment.

Nicholas Negroponte, former Media Lab Director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), founded the OLPC program in 2005. Originally the concept was to offer a "$100 laptop," but the green-and-white low-power "XO" computer now costs $188, running a Linux operating system and a chip made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), a rival of Intel.

Mulloy said the use of AMD chips had nothing to do with Intel's decision to withdraw from the project. Intel seemed to believe all along that there was a need for alternatives to OLPC in order to meet the needs of children in poor countries.

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
No votes yet