Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Hardware

Intel Laptop Competes With One Laptop Per Child 347

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the highest-form-of-flattery-still-doesn't-pay-the-bills dept.
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".'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel Laptop Competes With One Laptop Per Child

Comments Filter:
  • by microbob (29155) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:37PM (#19212149)
    Can I buy either one of these? I'd like to get my hands on them to see what they are all about.
    • by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:40PM (#19212195) Journal
      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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      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.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday May 21, 2007 @06:57PM (#19214697) Homepage Journal
        A hand-powered, field-capable, inexpensive wireless laptop is something that many many consumers want very much.

        That means there's almost no chance of them ever becoming available to the public.

        The corporate world no longer believes they have to give consumers what they want. Because, we have become the consumables.
    • by rmdyer (267137) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:35PM (#19212897)
      ...to me that they can build these things for less than the price of most MP3/AAC music players. More materials, more software/hardware development, etc. And they still stand to make a (some small) profit? That leads me to believe -we- are being taken "quite" advantage of by vendors of music/movie players. In fact, and in general, we are all being taken advantage of these days by big corps that vend anything from cell phones to TVs, and especially those that include any kind of "service" plan.

      It's no wonder they can sell Xunes. All it takes is 1 customer and they've made a profit! I give up. ;-(

      • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:53PM (#19213115)
        Some of the reasons the costs are lower than an mp3 player are because only governments can by this in bulk

        1) pass on all distribution, shipping, marketing costs to the government.
        2) likewise no warrantee or after sales service.
        3) only volume pre-orders. so their is no risk to the manfacturer on scale of production. All ecnomoies of scale are achieved on the first order.
        4) Other than the software there's no expensive cutting edge components.
        5) no retail stores, no middlemen, no warehouses.
        6) no sales floor packaging.

        Presumably those costs account for the majority of costs in the sales price of your MP3, which if it lacked any of those you would not buy it.

      • Yuh huh. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Colin Smith (2679)

        And they still stand to make a (some small) profit? That leads me to believe -we- are being taken "quite" advantage of by vendors of music/movie players
        Never give a sucker an even break. Most people wouldn't know the value of something if it smacked them in the mouth with a sledge hammer.

         
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eclectro (227083)
      Can I buy either one of these?

      You will have to take your place in line, as the One Laptop Per Nerd program hasn't quite started yet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Garrett Fox (970174)
      Nope, and so I would look forward to Intel (or anyone else) offering a super-cheap laptop like this on the open market, regardless of the effect on OLPC. You'd think that a group of engineers who get tired of hearing people say "Let me buy your product" would, you know, sell it to them.
  • Jeebus (Score:2, Insightful)

    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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by garbletext (669861) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:45PM (#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.
      • If you don't terribly mind reading TFA, you will note that the caption beneath the photo of the Intel "Classmate PC" says:

        Intel's Classmate PC runs Microsoft Windows and Linux

        So while Intel might not like the prospect that "kids around the world are going to cut their teeth on AMD", the "/ Linux" part of your comment is off the mark.

        Is Negroponte doing his OLTP thing as a purely philanthropic endeavor? I know that his organization is listed as "nonprofit", but that doesn't exclude its management f
    • Re:Jeebus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Oldsmobile (930596) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:46PM (#19212283) Journal
      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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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 (Score:5, Funny)

        by eln (21727) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:25PM (#19212775) Homepage
        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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:58PM (#19212479) Homepage Journal
      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 :)
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:32PM (#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.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:39PM (#19212181) Homepage
    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.
    • by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:44PM (#19212233) Journal
      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.
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:50PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mick Ohrberg (744441)
          Well, he might have thought that Intel wasn't going to get into the business of selling "gadgets".
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          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?
          I'm sure Intel had the opportunity to bid on the project, just like AMD did.

          If AMD was able to sell just the chips cheaper than Intel could, why would Intel think they could sell a completely assembled product that includes components not even part of Intel's core competency for less?
      • by CheeseTroll (696413) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:55PM (#19212435)
        Exactly. And the danger in that is that once OLPC is forced out, then Intel will also discontinue their efforts.
      • by Mike1024 (184871) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:23PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ngarrang (1023425)
      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 w
      • by Old Man Kensey (5209) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:54PM (#19212399) Homepage

        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.

        • by SiChemist (575005) * on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:06PM (#19212555) Homepage
          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.
          • by Old Man Kensey (5209) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:22PM (#19212735) Homepage
            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.
            • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @05:17PM (#19213463) Homepage Journal

              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.

              The difference is that AMD is working to make money by doing something positive, and intel is working to sabotage that positive thing in order to make money.

              Personally I don't give a crap why someone does something, aside from it being a potential indicator of future plans. I don't care what they think of something. What I care about is what someone actually does. And what intel is actually doing is sabotaging the OLPC project in pursuit of profits. In the process they are spreading lies and generally damaging the credibility of the OLPC project through falsehood.

              I don't think that AMD is good and intel is bad, I think that AMD is there and intel is bad, in this situation.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Iggowanna (659238) *

        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.

    • by davidsyes (765062)
      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....)
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:52PM (#19212373) Homepage

      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.

    • Competition is overrated.
    • 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 softwa

    • 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 w

    • by Oldsmobile (930596) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:16PM (#19212659) Journal
      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]
  • Intel Classmate (Score:3, Informative)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:39PM (#19212183)
    Some more info on the Intel Classmate can be found here [classmatepc.com].
  • Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by andrewd18 (989408) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:41PM (#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."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:41PM (#19212207)
    Two Laptops Per Child
  • Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daishiman (698845) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:43PM (#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.
    • 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.
  • 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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by EricBoyd (532608) <mrericboyd@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:45PM (#19212275) Homepage
    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.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:46PM (#19212279)
    Video linky here [cbsnews.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.

    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.

    • by khallow (566160)
      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 th
  • <tinfoil> (Score:5, Informative)

    by garbletext (669861) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:50PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Locutus (9039)
      so that would mean that they could split the losses between Microsoft, Intel, and the RIAA and get on with trying to kill off the OLPC project. Having the TPM crap in there is probably something Microsoft required too since they do not want these getting a OLPC image installed. After all, this whole thing is far more likely to be caused by threats of what positive press Linux will get when OLPC trials succeed. IMO.

      LoB
       
  • 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?
  • by milgr (726027) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:53PM (#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?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      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!
    • 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 educatio

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LearnToSpell (694184)
      Additionally, Intel shows students straining to read the screen.

      You're basing that from one photo? Didn't you ever see those dumbass cable ads where the downloader is gasping in awe as they stare into a 19" LCD from eight inches away?

    • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater&gmail,com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @05:21PM (#19213523) Homepage

      According to Intel, the screen resolution is 800x400. This pales compared to the OLPC's 1200x900 resolution. 800x400 seems barely usable.

      Ah, yes. Unless the laptop in question has the mega resolution of the modern desktop - it's not useable. The fact that 800x400 (or 640x480) worked quite well for thousands (millions?) of PCs for years is simply irrelevant.
       
       

      Additionally, Intel shows students straining to read the screen.

      'Straining' is a subjective judgement - not a fact that can be discerned from the picture.
       
       

      Which would you rather use?

      Which I would use is utterly irrelevant, as the criteria for my machine are vastly different from the criteria by which an educational machine should be judged.
      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday May 21, 2007 @06:26PM (#19214363)

        Ah, yes. Unless the laptop in question has the mega resolution of the modern desktop - it's not useable. The fact that 800x400 (or 640x480) worked quite well for thousands (millions?) of PCs for years is simply irrelevant.


        Those millions of PCs were not being marketed as a platform for reading to replace the paper books and the associated distribution costs in third-world countries, replacing them with electronic distribution and duplication. That's part of the vision of the OLPC, if not Classmate.

        The role that the OLPC is aimed it is not the role that computers were used in when they first started to be used widely in US schools, so comparing them with, say, those computers isn't all that reasonable. The features ought to be viewed in light of the intended use. For reading in place of books, both the reflective mode and its high resolution are key features.
  • a part of CBS 60 min interview can be found here [olpc.tv]
  • "We're not trying to drive him out of business," said Craig Barrett.

    Wink-wink-nudge-nudge.

  • 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]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LionMage (318500)

      they're actually crying because Intel is advertising a more expensive laptop to the same customers

      Actually, it's a bit deeper than that. Intel is spreading FUD about the OLPC project in general, and about the XO (the OLPC laptop) in particular. This is not unlike Microsoft's vaporware product announcements designed to forestall customers adopting or migrating to software made by Microsoft's competitors. The difference here is that Intel's product offering is not exactly vaporware. What it is, though, is

  • 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
    • by Mattintosh (758112) on Monday May 21, 2007 @04:12PM (#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.
  • Pushing Windows (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Laxator2 (973549) on Monday May 21, 2007 @05:09PM (#19213325)
    I'm sure that an important contribution comes from M$ who will not sit back and watch OLPC educate the kids in developing countries in using Linux and FOSS. M$ wants them hooked on Windows. Also, a slightly faster CPU can easily make Intel's laptop more attractive than AMD's offer. A serious loss now is worth a lot more later when the market will be able to absorb the cost of Windoze.
  • by Stu101 (1031686) on Monday May 21, 2007 @06:46PM (#19214585)
    People, Don't forget that with this OLPC system, not only does M$ crap itself at the thought of millions of linux competent kids, as intel does in chips, but Intel could loose out in another way, as could M$

    OLPC is a paradigm shift in computing. There are NO licence costs, everything is useable, for free, Everything has been designed from the ground up, its a new legacy free, tightly tuned computer that has thrown out all the old PC baggage and nastyness, with a new light, useable OS, that can fly on a 350ish MHz machine.

    If it works, there is no reason why they cant make desktop systems using the same code, optimised, open source components. Imagine an OLPC desktop with 512MB RAM and a hard drive, and perhaps an 800MHz chip. It could potentially change home desktop computing in developing worlds forever.
  • by Futile Rhetoric (1105323) on Monday May 21, 2007 @07:58PM (#19215281)
    Isn't this a shitstorm. I especially like the fellow who coined the term "armchair economists" -- clearly, his trimester of community college economics 101 has left him quite enamored with the idea of perfect competition and all the wonderful things that it entails. Unfortunately, markets (other than a handful of notable exceptions) don't work like that. There is no perfect information; there are significant barriers to entry; consumers, and in this case governments (Third World governments, no less) don't always act in a utility-maximizing way. The addition of a competitor need not make things better, at all.

    We're not dealing with free market economics here, there is a multitude of ways in which they are and can be distorted -- hell, the market doesn't even exist, yet. There is no infrastructure in place. The final consumers aren't the ones making the decisions, either -- governments are. Had I decided on which laptop I'd want as a gift instead of my father, then HP would have sold one less "entertainment laptop" with an integrated Intel Graphics Accelerator. There is a limited number of (quite possibly poorly informed, certainly if Intel can help it) customers. Government officials don't always know what the hell they're doing, and they can certainly be susceptible to meaningless marketing drivel (not to mention gifts). There is no reason whatsoever why the best product will win the competition in this case, and unless Intel can increase the value to the children, for whom the laptops are intended in the first place, enough to make up for the losses of economies of scale by OLPC (not to mention the possibility of its complete demise), a market with two participants makes no sense whatsoever.

    This is quite possibly a one-shot endeavor; it has to succeed now, or it will written off as worthless. There may not be a second round -- if Intel uses its considerable capital to price OLPC out of the market by offering their laptops below cost, there may not be any coming back if Intel decide to pull out due to lack of profits later on. I haven't heard anyone argue that the Classmate is a better machine for the purpose of educating Third World children yet, and I find this most telling.

    On the one hand, we have a consortium of corporations (you could go with just Intel I suppose, but I'm quite certain that Microsoft are backing the project, as does everyone else here it seems) with considerable economic and marketing muscle, whose sole purpose it is to make a profit off of their operations. On the other, we have a non-profit organization whose purpose it is to provide children with educational opportunities in parts of the world that need them; to reach as many children as possible by minimizing costs; to design a machine which best serves those goals. The latter is what's at stake here -- it doesn't take a genius to figure out which direction Intel will go in if Intel's goals (making a profit) clash with the purpose of the project.

    Finally, I'm amused by the cynicism and ad hominem attacks against Negroponte. A project which he obviously feels strongly about (and believes will do a lot of good) is jeopardized by people who're in it to make a buck. If he believed that Intel's involvement would better serve the goals of OLPC, his reaction may have been entirely different. He does not, and he has every reason not to. He's snappy about it, and so am I -- and I'm not even personally involved in the project.

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.

Working...