[AI] Intel withdraws from 'One Laptop Per Child programme'
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Fri Jan 4 05:24:53 EST 2008
The Hindu News Update Service
News Update Service
Friday, January 4, 2008 : 1110 Hrs
Intel withdraws from 'One Laptop Per Child programme' designed to distribute low-cost computers
San Jose, California (AP): Citing disagreements with the organization, Intel Corp. said it has abandoned the One Laptop Per Child program, dealing a big
blow to the ambitious project seeking to bring millions of low-cost laptops to children in developing countries.
The fallout ends a long-simmering spat that began even before the Santa Clara-based chipmaker joined the OLPC board in July, agreeing to contribute money
and technical expertise. It also comes only a few days before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where a prototype of an OLPC-designed laptop
using an Intel chip was slated to debut.
Intel decided to quit the nonprofit project and the OLPC board because the two reached a ``philosophical impasse,'' Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said Thursday.
Meanwhile, Intel will continue with its own inexpensive laptop design called the Classmate, which it is marketing in some of the same emerging markets
OLPC has targeted.
Both sides shared the objective of providing children around the world with the use of new technology, ``but OLPC had asked Intel to end our support for
non-OLPC platforms, including the Classmate PC, and to focus on the OLPC platform exclusively,'' Mulloy said. ``At the end of the day, we decided we couldn't
accommodate that request.''
A spokesman for OLPC did not immediately return a request for comment.
The One Laptop program was founded in 2005 by Nicholas Negroponte, former Media Lab director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The original
concept was to offer a ``$100 laptop,'' (about euro68) but the green-and-white low-power ``XO'' computer now costs $188 (euro127). It runs on a Linux operating
system and a chip made by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Negroponte told The Associated Press last fall that until OLPC had a machine using an Intel chip, he could understand why Intel would not want to push an
AMD machine to customers.
Mulloy said the use of AMD chips in the OLPC machines had nothing to do with Intel's decision to withdraw.
Intel believed all along that there is a need for multiple alternatives to meet the needs of children in poor countries, he said.
``It's unfortunate this happened, but at some point, you have
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