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Intel Laptop Competes With One Laptop Per Child

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the highest-form-of-flattery-still-doesn't-pay-the-bills dept.

Education 347

Tracy Reed writes "According to the BBC, Intel has designed and begun marketing it's own low-cost laptop targeted at education in developing countries. 'Professor Negroponte, who aims to distribute millions of laptops to kids in developing countries, said Intel had hurt his mission "enormously". Speaking to US broadcaster CBS, Intel's chairman denied the claims. "We're not trying to drive him out of business," said Craig Barrett. "We're trying to bring capability to young people." Mr Barrett has previously dismissed the $100 laptop as a "gadget".'"

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Can I buy either one of these? (4, Interesting)

microbob (29155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212149)

Can I buy either one of these? I'd like to get my hands on them to see what they are all about.

Re:Can I buy either one of these? (4, Informative)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212195)

No, you can't at the moment, although there are various conflicting rumours that the OLPC machine will be on sale to the general public. It was my understanding that it would be only be possible to buy two at a time, with one going to a child in the developing world, but I'm not sure wether or not that turned out to be true.

Re:Can I buy either one of these? (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212271)

They said on 60 minutes that OLPC expects to sell to US education in the future an eventually to US individuals if you pay double (like the old rumors).

Re:Can I buy either one of these? (2, Funny)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212501)

Can I buy either one of these? I'd like to get my hands on them to see what they are all about.


OLPC is officially selling only to national governments, though if you had a plan of what to do with them that was generally consistent with the OLPC mission and were willing to purchase in the 250,000 unit lots that they are selling in, they'd probably be willing to talk about making an exception.

One Desktop per Child (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212657)

Why the obsession with laptops? There are plenty of sub-$100 desktop systems available. If power is an issue, hook up a bicycle to a generator...

Jeebus (1, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212163)

Weren't there at least a dozen comments in the last OLPC story that pretty much debunked this idea that Intel's offering was in any way comparable to OLPC's? Oh wait, I forgot to look up and to the left...

Re:Jeebus (5, Interesting)

garbletext (669861) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212273)

Negroponte's upset that Intel has been sniping out the specific countries that OLPC is targeting, telling governments to hold off until Intel's offering is ready, publishing material like "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach," etc. Intel doesn't at all like the fact that a huge number of kids around the world are going to cut their teeth on AMD / Linux based systems. As a for profit company, the tactics they're using to compete with the (non-profit) OLPC group are kind of sad, since it's only the kids who will really suffer from this.

Re:Jeebus (4, Insightful)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212283)

Well, it IS four times as expensive, it hasn't been designed by a bunch of educators and it isn't running open source.

I guess it's sort of like taking a school history curriculum, desgined by educators to teach kids and comparing that to learning about history by watching the History channel.

Both will work towards the same goals, but are not equal or comparable.

Re:Jeebus (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212413)

I guess it's sort of like taking a school history curriculum, desgined by educators to teach kids and comparing that to learning about history by watching the History channel.

OLPC is like learning history from a hand-powered television with no broadcaster or content.

Re:Jeebus (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212775)

learning about history by watching the History channel.

Hey now, the History channel has taught me more about ghosts, biblical history, major disasters, and true crime than my stuffy old history professor ever did.

Re:Jeebus (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212479)

That's a rather silly statement. I mean, even apples and oranges are comparable. They're both fruit. OLPC and ClassmatePC are two systems designed to do basically the same thing, except the ClassmatePC was intended to run Windows from the beginning. OLPC can be made to do it, but it's not the idea. ClassmatePC is basically only useful in a classroom setting, whereas OLPC is useful anywhere, because of the power supply. ClassmatePC is faster and has more storage, OLPC is lower power and uses less power :)

Re:Jeebus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212681)

Sorry - I have to correct you. It's no longer caller OLPC, but TLPC. Yes, not one, but two laptops for every 3rd world child. And a 65" plasma-TV.

OLPC is a grave threat to intel (5, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212859)

OLPC is like apple, it's and end-to-end specification. I forget which CPU they are using, I assume it's a VIA since the whole thing is 4 watts. But even if it were an Intel CPU it's a grave danger.

1) Like apple they could choose to change processors at any time. Thus they could move away from X86 if they wished.
2) they will establish a huge software market that does not use intel specific advancements.
3) It will use graphics other then Intel graphics

In short by creating an enourmous consumer market for generic lowest common demoninator software, it removes a tremendous amount of product differentiation the INtel sells. To see this think back about 8 years ago when you had a choice of buying an intel P4 or P3 or buying whatever AMD was selling. You were not really sure if all your code optimizers would work on AMD, not sure if certain drivers would fail on AMD. It was a gamble. The answer was in most cases there was no problems at all. But we all had seen examples of problems. Intel was the safe bet. Plus when optimizations using SSE or analogs came out they were written for intel first. And lord save you if you bought Via or god forbid, transmeta.

With a giant market in non-intel optimizations out there this advantage will be nullified. Software will respect the generic CPU needs. That hurts intel's premium price advantage.

Isn't this a good thing? (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212181)

Isn't this a good thing? Isn't having many companies working towards the same objective, offering similar products, good for competition, and good for making things cheaper in the end? Maybe lots of competition could give us the $50 laptop. Having a monopoly in any business, even charity, or to help the poor, is necessary to ensure that costs are being kept to a minimum. How do we know that the $50 laptop isn't possible unless there's competition against the guy offering the $100 laptop.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

Xybre (527810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212217)

Competition is good, though I would have liked to see the OLPC project get more of a headstart before the big guns (Intel) moved in.

Intel saw money somewhere, so it went to go take it.
Their laptop runs windows too. I wonder who's idea that was..

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (5, Insightful)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212233)

Competition is one thing in a regular market, but the accusation is that Intel is using their marketplace power and financial reserves to undercut a not-for-profit to force them out of the market as part of their corporate rivalry with AMD, who supplied the CPUs for the OLPC machines. That's something different from healthy competition.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212339)

What the Hell did Negroponte expect? Did he think Intel was just going to roll over the let their biggest competitor sell tens-of-millions of chips without offering their own alternative?

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (2, Insightful)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212481)

Well, he might have thought that Intel wasn't going to get into the business of selling "gadgets".

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (4, Interesting)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212435)

Exactly. And the danger in that is that once OLPC is forced out, then Intel will also discontinue their efforts.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212845)

Highly unlikely.
Reality:
  • Intel joins the fray, OLPC goes under, Intel makes a profit and continues ("good will" + profit (even if slim)).
  • Intel joins the fray, OLPC competes, both sell units, both profit.
  • Intel joins the fray, doesn't make a profit, leaves OLPC wins
  • Intel joins the fray, OLPC quits, Intel fails to profit, leaves, OLPC comes back, OLPC wins.

-nB

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212713)

It'd be one thing if Intel were buying their way into this "market" for whatever reason (cheaper machines = more kids benefitting), but from the article the Intel machine is in fact more expensive so they've had to resort to sending in the spin droids to try to kill the OLPC. Bottom line is Intel prefers less kids with Intel CPUs than more kids with AMD CPUs.

One interesting point is that the OLPC runs Linux while the Intel Classmate runs Linux or Windows XP Professional + Microsoft Office - obviously being provided essentially free by Microsoft. It's hard to see how Intel/Microsoft are doing impoverished developing countries a favor by trying to get kids hooked on Windows vs free software that as adults they'd actually be able to afford.

http://www.laptop.org/laptop/software/specs.shtml [laptop.org]

http://www.classmatepc.com/classmatepc-system-soft ware.html [classmatepc.com]

Professor Negroponte says Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments with titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach", which outline the supposedly stronger points of the Classmate.

Mr Barrett told CBS: "Someone at Intel was comparing the Classmate PC with another device being offered in the marketplace. That's the way our business works." ...

Countries have until 31 May to place their orders for the first batch [of OLPCs] and will be able to purchase lots of 250,000.

They will initially cost $176 (£90) but the eventual aim is to sell the machine to governments of developing countries for $100 (£50).

Intel says it already has orders for "thousands" of Classmates, which currently cost over $200 (£100).

Like the OLPC machine, Intel expects the price to eventually fall.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (3, Funny)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212755)

Competition is one thing in a regular market, but the accusation is that Intel is using their marketplace power and financial reserves to undercut a not-for-profit to force them out of the market as part of their corporate rivalry with AMD, who supplied the CPUs for the OLPC machines.

On the other hand, if Intel provided a product that achieved OLPC's educational aims, but heavily subsidised it, one could argue that the OLPC project fulfilled its aims - Just instead of distributing their own product they tricked Intel into designing, distributing, supporting and paying for it.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212255)

This particular situation isn't about competition. Coopetition is needed. Intel is just mad they weren't invited to the party so they could get free press from the situation, so they are stepping in with their stupid fat fingers and gumming up the keyboard with their dripping transfat-laden corporate policies.

There is ZERO market in providing cheap PCs to poor people. There is no profit beyond paying the bills of the company.

Again, Intel is just trying to generate press, "Look at us! Look at how great we are! We are trying to help the poor!"

Intel would be more advise to give money to the OLPC project so the per-system cost could be lowered. Team work is needed here, not competition.

Meanwhile, back in reality... (4, Insightful)

Old Man Kensey (5209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212399)

Again, Intel is just trying to generate press, "Look at us! Look at how great we are! We are trying to help the poor!"

And AMD wasn't when they inked a deal with OLPC?

Intel would be more advise to give money to the OLPC project so the per-system cost could be lowered. Team work is needed here, not competition.

That would be completely stupid of Intel. First, it would be putting money in the pockets of AMD. Second, AMD press would have an absolute field day -- "If Intel trusts us for the hard stuff, shouldn't you?" The reality is that Intel's choices were roll their own, or stay out completely.

Re:Meanwhile, back in reality... (3, Interesting)

SiChemist (575005) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212555)

AMD was already producing the "OLPC" processor before they were contacted by OLPC. It's a "computer on a chip" called the Geode. We have one here at work in a low-power PC running Debian. Bought it in 2005. Works quite well for a low power consumption but fairly powerful single board computer. Our system was used in the field as a data collecting computer for a research project.

Re:Meanwhile, back in reality... (4, Interesting)

Old Man Kensey (5209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212735)

I'm not saying the Geode is custom for the OLPC. I'm saying I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that AMD is providing them at a steep discount, but is banking on recovering that money in general goodwill for future consumer purchases. To impugn Intel as "only interested in making money" ignores the reality that AMD no doubt got involved in OLPC for exactly the same reason. Somewhere, some accountant at AMD had to draw up a balance sheet showing the OLPC CPUs as a net profit over time -- to do otherwise would be to risk the near-certainty of a shareholder lawsuit.

Re:Meanwhile, back in reality... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212607)

That would be completely stupid of Intel.

Based on past Intel decisions, you're probably right on target;-)

The reality is Intel is doing exactly what it is accused of doing. Make itself appear to be doing the same thing as OLPC, muddy the differences, and sow just enough confusion that OLPC, and AMD with them, tank. Its the same thing that Microsoft does on the software end, like their attempts to make Java "better."

Re:Meanwhile, back in reality... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212793)

Again, Intel is just trying to generate press, "Look at us! Look at how great we are! We are trying to help the poor!"

And AMD wasn't when they inked a deal with OLPC?


AMD are one of the poor (compared to Intel, at least.)

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (3, Interesting)

Iggowanna (659238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212423)

There is ZERO market in providing cheap PCs to poor people. There is no profit beyond paying the bills of the company.

Again, Intel is just trying to generate press, "Look at us! Look at how great we are! We are trying to help the poor!"
Don't really agree with you on this point. There is a market, although it's a long term proposition. Provide cheap laptops today and when a consumer market emerges, the consumers will either remember the 'charity' of Intel, or simply buy what they are familiar with (Intel, again).

This is the same strategy Apple used (although with limited success) by selling it's Apple ][s, ]|[s and Macs cheap as dirt to schools to try and capitalize on the students as they eventually became consumers.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

amigascne (670300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212745)

There actually can be a profit for Intel if you look beyond the end user. It's not the end users buying these, it's world governments. I agree wholeheartedly that the right thing to do for responsible corporations that actually care is to contribute to the OLPC project. Healthy competition makes sense on established commodities but less sense when we're dealing with matters of human rights and moral obligations. Providing the resources and tools to educate, feed and heal should not be things we compete on but rather collaborate on.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212327)

Well, that depends. Whose OS will be on the Intel laptops? I will leap and say ms' warez will be on it. If Intel REALLY wants to get a laptop cheaply into kid's hands, it should fund Negroponte's activities or improve the supply pipeline. Then, more developers can have deeper access to Intel chips without Intel being accused of being more ms-friendly than Linux-friendly.

(Barrett ducks ballmer's chair hurling....)

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212373)

No. Intel and Microsoft are interested in replacing the OLPC (small, light, huge battery life, open, safe) with little shrunken down normal laptops. With the OLPC you get the great battery life, all the programs (and programming languages) designed to encourage learning. With the Classmate you get... Windows. And Windows software.

As I see it, the OLPC is about learning about computers and getting kids interested in learning. There is a ton to like about it. The Classmate is about getting kids used to Wintel computers, and locked into the status quo. Sure, they are both "computers", but they are targeted very differently.

But OLPC is not for profit but Intel can dump classmate PCs cheaper than they can be made. They can call this "philanthropy". They can kill a better (in many ways, but not hardware speed wise) computer and get more people who come up on their system and used to that. But they are cheaper (or could be)! They are more powerful! They run Windows (read: it's a "real" computer).

The OLPC is a revolution in many ways. If Intel really wanted to just help people, they would donate free CPUs or memory to the OLPC project, or at least sell them undercutting AMD. Instead of doing that and helping, they shrunk a normal laptop, made a few little changes, and have decided their way is better.

Negroponte came off a little paranoid in the 60 minutes interview, but I agree with him. They are scared. If Intel subsidized the OLPC maybe they would be willing to put the little Intel stickers on every one.

I'd gladly buy an OLPC today if I could. I find the little computer fascinating (both hardware, software, and principal). The other groups (MS and Intel, mostly) just seem to be trying to make a low cost laptop that is otherwise what everyone else uses, with the same problems.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

Froboz23 (690392) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212463)

I'm guessing Negroponte's main concern is volume. To drop the price of the laptop, they need to maximize volume of units produced. If Intel takes half, or more, of the "market" share, this will undermine OLPC's volume of scale.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212597)

I think it's even worse than that. IIRC they need a minimum of some million units sold to break even. If Intel comes along whispering "hold on until our better vapourware comes along" to the governments that already were interested in OLPC (I'd like to see Intel's "alternative" survive in being carried in Nigeria's weather, nevermind survive Nigerian children) then Negroponte's design might not even get the chance to prove its worth. And that would be unfair stifling. Case to the point: Intel's laptop has nothing in terms of weatherproofing, battery life (and out-in-the-fields option), wireless networking, or security that even comes close to OLPC. It would be interesting to see how they compare by giving each laptop to a test group of kids and seeing which one is still better-suited for its purpose after one semester (if not which one is still working) but I strongly doubt Intel would like such a test.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212467)

Competition is overrated.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212473)

Isn't this a good thing? Isn't having many companies working towards the same objective...

No, it's not a good thing, because Intel is not working towards the same objective as the OLPC project. What's the difference? Well, the OLPC project is working to provide Free Software specifically designed to have great educational value, while the Intel offering will run a (dubiously useful) plain copy of Windows.

I think kids would be better off not having computers at all, than to be damaged by Microsoft's software!

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212559)

Isn't this a good thing? Isn't having many companies working towards the same objective, offering similar products, good for competition, and good for making things cheaper in the end?


That depends. If one company without interest in seeing a market develop, but with an interest in guaranteeing that a competitor fails to benefit from a potential market waves promises around in an effort to get people not to hold off buying into the product that its competitor is involved in, and then doesn't follow through with its promises, hat's not a good thing, ad its certainly happened before.

Whether Intel is doing that here is a matter of debate.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (4, Informative)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212659)

The problem is, this isn't about competing in a free market.

Here's the 60 minutes clip: http://olpc.tv/2007/05/21/60-minutes/ [olpc.tv]

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212667)

> Isn't this a good thing? Isn't having many companies working towards the same objective...

One key accusation that Nicholas Negroponte made, but is missing from The Fine Summary, is that Intel will sell it "below cost to drive him out of markets." This is a different game.

Not always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212697)

Too *much* competition means that the upfront development cost of each competitor can't be amortized over as many units, which in turn drives the costs *up* for everyone. It seems like Negroponte is arguing that 2 competitors is already too much.

Re:Isn't this a good thing? (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212707)

Having a monopoly in any business, even charity, or to help the poor, is necessary to ensure that costs are being kept to a minimum.
Whoa there cowboy! Where did you get that idea? Are you telling me that by having a monopoly on a desktop OS and office suite that Microsoft has kept costs to a minimum? Your statement only makes sense in an economy classroom. In the real world, a monopoly usually means "I can charge what ever the hell I want".

A monopoly will never keep costs low. Only a free market without any monopoly can produce what you have described.

Intel Classmate (3, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212183)

Some more info on the Intel Classmate can be found here [classmatepc.com] .

Re:Intel Classmate (3, Informative)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212319)

Or slightly more impartial information can be found at Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Intel Classmate (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212573)

TMM! Long time no post, where you been? First posts haven't been the same without you.

Translation (3, Insightful)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212203)

"We're not trying to drive him out of business," said Craig Barrett. "We're trying to bring capability to young people."
Translation: "We're not trying to drive him out of business," said Craig Barrett. "That will just be a fortunate side-effect in our ongoing war against terrori-, uh, I mean, AMD. Oh, and, uh, I guess giving poor kids technology is a good thing too."

This is no laughing matter... (3, Interesting)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212315)

Think of the chil^H^H^H^H young people, you monster.
The Classmate PC runs Microsoft Windows XP Embedded Version 2002, with Service Pack 2. There's very little installed other than drivers for the hardware and the basic Windows Accessories applications. Interestingly, the full suite of Windows desktop games were present - it seems that Intel is keen for children in the developing world to play solitaire when they're bored, just like the rest of us. http://www.trustedreviews.com/notebooks/review/200 6/09/28/Intel-Classmate-PC-EXCLUSIVE/p2 [trustedreviews.com]

Just rename the project to TLPC (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212207)

Two Laptops Per Child

OLPC is starting to sound hollow (1)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212221)

I read the article and there is no reason why Negroponte objects to Intel's efforts other than it undercuts his own project. If the goal is to have a cheap robust laptop for education, does it matter who makes it? I understand that OLPC got the ball rolling, but that doesn't make it the best solution. If its about charity, then grandstanding shouldn't get in the way.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212341)

If its about charity, then grandstanding shouldn't get in the way.
Obviously then it isn't about charity. It's about creating a market to sell to.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212345)

I read the article and there is no reason why Negroponte objects to Intel's efforts other than it undercuts his own project. If the goal is to have a cheap robust laptop for education, does it matter who makes it?
The goal of the OLPC project is to make cheap, robust laptops for education. Intel's goal is to make money. There's nothing inherently wrong with Intel's goal, but it's very important to keep it in mind.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212369)

I think the problem is two-fold:

1. If Intel were really interested in "trying to bring capability to young people" then why didn't they sign on with the OLPC project in the first place? By having Intel generate a separate project, resources are inherently divided. According to TFA, Intel originally laughed at the idea of OLPC. Now they are copying it. Why didn't they just agree to help OLPC?

2. In TFA, Negroponte reportedly is accusing Intel of selling their Classmate PC below production cost. Such a tactic is used, of course, to driver others out of the market, so as to establish monopoly. If OLPC and Intel both try to sell their laptops to various countries, and the Intel one has "more bang for the buck" (because they are subsidizing it), then obviously countries will pick the Intel one. Then OLPC dies and suddenly the Intel ones start mysteriously costing more.

The OLPC project has the aim to create extremely inexpensive educational laptops in a cost-effective way. They want a sustainable solution to education. Intel, according to Negroponte, is not working towards that goal.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (5, Informative)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212661)

Negroponte probably has some good proof that the ClassMatePC is being sold below cost since his group has been working on a lowcost design for a couple of years and included negotiations with both Microsoft and Intel. Both of which are involved in the ClassMatePC.

Just like how Microsoft started giving out Microsoft Windows for far far below market costs to Taiwan when those HP and Dell notebooks running Linux were selling very well, they both( Intel and Microsoft ) are subsidizing their product to keep the "competition" from gaining ground.

If I was seeing Linux on the ClassMatePC instead of MS Windows, I might be able to believe that Intel could be motivated by charity but with Microsoft involved and how BOTH companies blasted OLPC in the press, it's all about business and their sole purpose here is to get OLPC to fail. The ClassMatePC would be pulled from the market later since cheap hardware and software is NOT what Intel or Microsoft want. IMO.

LoB
 

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (1)

Cyrom (984413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212835)

As far as i could see by the classmate website, Linux is an option.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212443)

Having seen that interview he did last night, I'd say it's at least as much about his ego than actually helping kids. He doesn't just want the kids helped, he also wants everyone coming an patting HIM on the back for it and telling him what a great guy he is.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (2, Insightful)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212487)

I totally agree, but was trying to hold back on saying that explicitly based on a single short article.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212535)

The intel system is simply not useful in the places where the OLPC is most needed. But by existing it effectively drives up the cost of the OLPC; less OLPCs will be sold, reducing the effects of volume, and keeping the prices higher. The OLPC is not a moneymaking attempt, it is there to help the world. Intel is not there to help the world, they're there to make money. Thus intel's quest for cash is harming the OLPC project, while at the same time, the ClassmatePC cannot help people that the OLPC can. I think it's reasonable to be upset at intel's metooism.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212867)

Maybe if he would set his ego aside and work WITH Intel instead of taking his "My way or nothing" approach, they could come to an accommodation. Instead of viewing Intel as a potential ally, he views them as the enemy, edging in on *HIS* personal feel-good project. If he truly cared about the kids, he should be willing to work with Intel or anyone else.

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212529)

A major goal of the OLPC/XO project is to bring open computing to children in developing nations. You don't want kids who can't read and don't speak English trying to use Windows. Windows doesn't even make sense to most people who have been using it for years.

The XO ships with Sugar, LOGO, their magic "view source" button, and a non-braindead security architecture. The ideal of keeping everything open, modifiable, and simple goes much further than Intel and Microsoft could in fostering open creativity. The OLPC will have its own battery chemistry, a unique LCD, a headphone jack capable of reading voltage changes for sensor hookups, and 802.11s networking. Intel's offering would have Windows with Solitare, Office and Encarta? Maybe Intell will include Microsoft Bob to make it more friendly to children.

The issue seems to be the OLPC project is well thought out for the benefit of the user. The Intel project is a "me too" offering for the benefit of Intel and Microsoft.

Won't somebody think of the children?

Re:OLPC is starting to sound hollow (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212627)

I read the article and there is no reason why Negroponte objects to Intel's efforts other than it undercuts his own project. If the goal is to have a cheap robust laptop for education, does it matter who makes it?


The objective of the OLPC project is not to have "a cheap, robust laptop for education".

It is to provide educational innovations centered around a cheap, robust laptop for education. OLPC is not just providing a laptop, or a laptop+software, but also coordinating a number of related services and content and content distribution systems, etc.

Of course (2, Insightful)

Daishiman (698845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212227)

AMD makes the processors for the OLPC. Never mind that Intel is undercutting the OLPC at a loss just to gain market share on what may be one the largest untapped markets for computers.

Re:Of course (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212325)

Exactly. This isn't about "bringing capability to young people"...it's about Intel trying to muscle AMD out of a market they've only recently realized was there at all. I doubt Intel would be doing this at all if OLPC (with AMD inside) hadn't already demonstrated the viability of the market.

Re:Of course (1)

JKDguy82 (692274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212801)

So, you're saying that Intel selling these laptops below what they cost is a bad thing? Let me reword this: Intel is offering to sell their laptop to extremely poor people for less than what they cost. If they are doing this to gain market share only to raise prices later, then all the OLPC (or any other competitor) has to do is start making them cheaper than Intel at that point (ostensibly prices would be cheaper for the same components in the future). Simple economics says that this would be benefit the people buying the laptops, but my guess is that you hate to see a BIG corporation getting the glory for perfoming the charity.

Another point: Let's just say that Intel does this "unfair undercutting" for 5-10 years, which in a developing nation is not a long time. The kids who are 10-18 years old (I imagine the ones who would use these the most) are now in the range of 15-28. I wonder if any of them would possibly now be benefiting their local economy, possibly working to develop their own cheap laptop.

I think the best point was made in an earlier post, that this is for charity, so who cares who is doing it?

Re:Of course (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212839)

don't be fooled, it is far far more likely that this is about terminating the OLPC project and not about selling computers to countries so poor they need ~$200 laptop/software packages. If Intel and Microsoft are successful, they'll terminate the program until another threat comes up. Oh, and Microsoft is involved.

One thing to notice, the OLPC project is probably 50% hardware and 50% software when you consider how much effort went into the UI and low power wireless designs. What Intel and Microsoft are showing is a subsidized small WinTel laptop with a colorful thin rubber membrane glued to it as a handle.

We already saw Microsoft drop licensing costs for MS Windows and MS Office down to $5 in Taiwan after it was noticed that the Linux/OSS based HP and Dell laptops were selling out. We've also seen that Microsoft has put aside millions of dollars to purchase back public moves away Windows/Microsoft and toward Linux/OSS. This is they same thing and it is HIGHLY probable that if they do harm to the OLPC project, their job is done and the subsidies will stop if not the entire project terminated. IMO.

LoB

Intel Is A POS Company (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212235)

Always has been, always will be.

The worst chip architecture in history, x86.
Itanic.
The endless bogus SPEC scores.

I honestly can't imagine the complete tools that wake up and go to work everyday for companies like Intel.

Typo? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212265)

Intel has designed and begun marketing it's own low-cost laptop targeted at education in developing countries.

Shouldn't that read "targeted against OLPC in developing countries"?

Just like with Intel v. Motorola (== i386), Intel v. AMD (== x64) and Intel v. Transmeta (== Centrino), Intel has to be hit hard in testicles to start doing anything - especially something targeted at consumers.

OLPC review (4, Informative)

EricBoyd (532608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212275)

I got to play with an XO laptop yesterday at the Maker Faire [makerfaire.com] . It is not a gadget - it is a computer built for a child (small keyboard) with little prior experience with IT (simple GUI, etc). I wrote up a review [digitalcrusader.ca] (with pictures) on my blog.

Re:OLPC review (1)

tmarthal (998456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212485)

No Ads, nice review with content. Why are you linking your blog on /. again?

This was on 60 Minutes last night also (3, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212279)

Video linky here [cbsnews.com]

Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212285)

If the goal is to get technology to kids in developing nations, do we care who does it?

If Intel can pull it off cheaper, should I feel bad for Negroponte?

If this is truly altruistic work, then he should embrace Intel's commitment, and try to work together.

If this is for-profit capitalism, merely disguised as charity, then may the best man win.

oh, the apostrophe! (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212291)

Quoth TFS: "Intel has designed and begun marketing it's own low-cost laptop".

Does it have a preinstalled grammar checker?

Re:oh, the apostrophe! (2, Funny)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212349)

It's part of Intel's new intarwebs 2.0 marketing campaign. They're saying they own at low-cost laptops.

Business as usual... (1)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212295)

Professor Negroponte says Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments with titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach", which outline the supposedly stronger points of the Classmate.

I find it hard to believe that Intel is trying to undermine the OLPC project in this way. Yeah, there might be some money in it for them, but at the risk of undermining the entire enterprise of a set machine and experience for these countries. I'm not sure if the OLPC cost is just the hardware cost or whether it includes money to keep the organization running, but if it is funding development and Intel manages to take half the "market", then it won't be easy for the organization to stay afloat.

Re:Business as usual... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212553)

What's hard to believe about it? Negroponte has demonstrated that it can be done. Now, he's got to fend off the competition. Intel isn't the only problem. For example, India's Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) claims [indiatimes.com] that it can develope and produce a $10 laptop (though what they'll make this laptop out of, no one has said). My take is that Intel and HRD see the "One laptop" project as a threat to them (Intel clearly is concerned about the AMD processor while HRD apparently is concerned about their own image). It appears to me that both organizations have incentive to kill the OLPC project.

Re:Business as usual... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212665)

My take is that Intel and HRD see the "One laptop" project as a threat to them (Intel clearly is concerned about the AMD processor while HRD apparently is concerned about their own image). It appears to me that both organizations have incentive to kill the OLPC project.

India is a nation with a caste structure based on total bullshit that relegates some persons to poverty simply because of their parentage. Such systems depend on ignorance to thrive. Those interested in maintaining the status quo have every incentive to keep information out of the hands of the unwashed masses.

Intel, of course, can't stand to see a success with AMD's name on it, even if it means making the world a better place with more people in a position to buy intel's and AMD's products. Of course, AMD's a corporation too. They are ostensibly in it for the advertising - all the people who grow up with AMD in their OLPC might conceivably favor AMD over intel in the future. The difference of course is that AMD is also (even if coincidentally) helping the world, whereas intel is (even if coincidentally) fucking it over.

Re:Business as usual... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212673)

For example, India's Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) claims [indiatimes.com] that it can develope and produce a $10 laptop (though what they'll make this laptop out of, no one has said).

At that price... my guess? Potato chips. :-)

<tinfoil> (5, Informative)

garbletext (669861) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212335)

Perhaps the [MP|RI]AA have a stake in intel's competing design: it includes a TPM chip!
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classmate_PC [wikipedia.org] :

The Classmate PC, in contrast to the XO (which does not require anything extra) includes a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)[2] to provide any local Windows XP Embedded installation with access to hardware-based DRM.

Is either organization right? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212347)

Do we really want to be educating these kids at all, much less giving them laptops?

By allowing kids in developing countries to get educations, we excite dissatisfaction in their minds. In the end, this disatisfaction will result in them leading unhappy lives filled with anger.

No, it is best for them never to know education. They will be happier, and I will continue to have cheap labor to fuel my extravagant, carefree life of study and leisure.

Re:Is either organization right? (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212429)

Wrong, wrong, wrong... Let them eat Amigas, at least a Guru Meditation Error might provoke a more rational and measured response in their little minds than a BSoD.

Re:Is either organization right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212695)

That's among the stupidest rationalizations I've ever heard.

Does $100 include environmental cost (2, Interesting)

firstian (810484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212381)

We all want cheaper hardware, but is flooding developing nations with $100 electronic equipment environmentally sound? Does that $100 include how much it'll cost to properly dispose of the unit? If not, how much will it be? There was just another story [slashdot.org] today about cost of digital waste. Is it time for us to consider the cost of the equipment more than just the R&D + manufacturing cost?

Re:Does $100 include environmental cost (1)

hoppo (254995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212615)

Pollution in developing countries doesn't harm the environment at all. It says so in the Kyoto Agreement.

Classmate has low resolution screen. (5, Insightful)

milgr (726027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212385)

According to Intel [classmatepc.com] , the screen resolution is 800x400. This pales compared to the OLPC's 1200x900 [laptop.org] resolution. 800x400 seems barely usable. Additionally, Intel shows students straining [classmatepc.com] to read the screen.

Which would you rather use?

Re:Classmate has low resolution screen. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212551)

Based on the third picture on the page, it also makes parents clutch the system to their chest and look off into the distance. Perhaps it leads to introspection? Scientists have been trying to figure out how to make THAT happen for decades. Maybe intel is on to something here!

Re:Classmate has low resolution screen. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212723)

Actually, the OLPC is only 1200x900 in monochrome mode. In color, the OLPC's screen is still addressable at 1200x900 resolution, but the mapping between pixels in memory and pixels on the display is not direct. Instead, each block of four display pixels contains one red element, two green elements, and one blue element. The hardware performs a "swizzling" operation to distribute the colors of each memory pixel among the appropriate display elements, for an effective perceived resolution that is somewhere between 1200x900 and 600x450. This is similar to the way that LCD screens can increase their perceived resolution by taking advantage of the fact that each pixel maps to three horizontally sequential red, green, and blue elements.

Since the Intel laptop most likely uses a standard LCD screen, it would be more fair, then, to say that in color mode the OLPC has 1200x900 while the Intel has 2400x400. It's interesting that both machines have roughly the same number of screen elements, but the OLPC's elements are in a better layout for resolution enhancement. (And, of course, the Intel lacks the low-power, sunlight-readable monochrome mode.)

Re:Classmate has low resolution screen. (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212733)

According to Intel [classmatepc.com], the screen resolution is 800x400. This pales compared to the OLPC's 1200x900 [laptop.org] resolution.


To be fair, Intel says 800x480, and for color the OLPC display is effectively something like 700 x 520; since the 1200x900 is the reflective-mode resolution in which every pixel is either black or white, but in color 1/3 of the pixels are available for each red, green, and blue. Still, 700x520 is only slightly worse overall than 800x480, and lots of uses for an educational machine (like, use as an e-book reader) will benefit from the much higher monochrome resolution on the OLPC.

video here (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212409)

a part of CBS 60 min interview can be found here [olpc.tv]

It isn't a $100 laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212441)

From TFA: "They will initially cost $176 (£90) but the eventual aim is to sell the machine to governments of developing countries for $100 (£50).

Intel says it already has orders for "thousands" of Classmates, which currently cost over $200 (£100)"

The Intel machine is more expensive than OLPC. I also bet that it hasn't been engineered from the ground up to be suitable for third world kids. I think Negraponte may be over-reacting a bit when he says Intel's machine ruins everything. (Of course he's way smarter than me, so maybe I'm missing something.)

wink wink (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212475)

"We're not trying to drive him out of business," said Craig Barrett.

Wink-wink-nudge-nudge.

Think of the Children! (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212483)

Regardless of who makes or supplies the laptop, the main purpose is to get it into the hands of the children in developing countries so they too can discover that the Internet is for porn and mp3s. I couldn't care less if it's Intel or the OLPC organization who supplies it.

Intel destroying them (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212505)

They're destroying us! By advertising a better product!

I thought the article was going to be about how Intel had raised the price of the chip they need, or how they refused to deliver the chips on time, or how they did something to stop them from selling their laptops.

This is awesome, they're actually crying because Intel is advertising a more expensive laptop to the same customers. How ridiculous.

---
Talk about ridiculous [douginadress.com]

kids don't need.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212511)

cheap laptops, they need smaller classes, more techers, less child labor..

i mean why give the 3rd world kids laptops, if the US are already getting rid of them in schools.

Sounds like (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212517)

Sounds like Beta versus VHS. Why can't everyone just get on the same bandwagon?

What's he worred about? (1)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212525)

His laptop costs $176. Intel's costs over $200. His has been far more publicized than intel. He has a "non evil" (read that as non-profit oriented) approach. So what is he really worried about here? If his laptop and his after-purchase support is competitive, he will win based on price. If his feature-set is superior or the laptop is more suited to the task, he will win based on application. If not, he didn't deserve the business. So what is he really worried about? If he gets beat, it's better for the kids anyway, right? If he wins, it's better for the kids. It sounds to me like he wants to be the 'savior' and can't stand being upstaged by a company that isn't out to save the children, but to make a profit.

Re:What's he worred about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212575)

It sounds to me like he wants to be the 'savior' and can't stand being upstaged by a company that isn't out to save the children, but to make a profit.

You nailed it! He's worried he personally won't be saving the day. I hate that douche bag and everything about him and his bull shit government funded cram-a-laptop-down-the-throat-o- every-starving-child-in-the-world politics.

DEATH TO HIM!

Re:What's he worred about? (5, Insightful)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212609)

His main complaint is that Intel is "dumping", that is, selling them below cost (and more importantly, below the OLPC's price) just to get a foothold on what could grow into a really nice monopoly somday.

Intel with $$$ vs. a non-profit group with no $$$... that's just poor sportsmanship. Intel needs to back off.

Familiar Name (1)

sportster (711011) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212565)

Speaking to US broadcaster CBS, Intel's chairman ... Craig Barrett.
For a second I thought the Intel chairman was moonlighting as an open source developer: http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

How soon on eBay? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212677)

I'm starting a book.

How long will it take for these things to appear on eBay? OLPC or Classmate, doesn't matter.

Post your dates below:
 

The Classmate use a TPM locked down Windows XP Em (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212699)

Windows XP Embedded with access to hardware-based DRM and upgrades that cannot be coded by users unless they pay a fee to Microsoft. M$ needs to lay off this DRM crap and give a way a full windows xp install also 256 megs ram - 8mb for board video is way to small for xp.
Steve Jobs had offered to give away Mac OS X free of charge for the OLPC M$ should do the same of this.
Steve Jobs should offer to give away Mac OS X for this as well.

Kids need speed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212703)

I applaud Negroponte's effort and I like to see OLPC succeed,
but it can't win against the Classmate which has a 900Mhz
Celeron M CPU vs. OLPC's AMD Geode GX CPU which is about
the same speed as a Pentium II 350. Kids have no patience.

OMPC - One MacBook Per Child (1)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212829)

Where's Apple's entry? In the past, Apple has had very close ties with educators. I don't think they would want to be left out in the cold.
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