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OLPC, Uruguay first conquest

OLPC, Uruguay first conquest

Checking it on Intel’s Classmate and on the Israeli ITP-C, XO finally wins its first official government supply , winning the auction in Uruguay for the distribution in schools of 100,000 ultra-cheap computers for educational purposes. Not only that, the agreement provides for the possibility of purchasing another 200 thousand units by the year 2009. A victory that feeds the vision of the guru Negroponte and the organization he founded One Laptop Per Child.

And the news of the important commercial agreement comes in conjunction with the statements with which Negroponte confirms a close collaboration underway with Microsoft to adapt Windows to XO’s ultra-small hardware as anticipated in recent days by 3 minutes, the video magazine of Punto Informatico.

“It would be hard for OLPC to claim that the system is open if it is then closed to Microsoft. Open means open “Negroponte declares, clearly letting the intentions of the consortium understand to those who have so far criticized the scarce use for young people, in a future employment perspective, of learn to use a PC equipped with a system so different from the widespread Windows . Sooner or later, a laptop pre-loaded with an embedded version of Windows XP will come into circulation, although determining the “when” seems difficult.

XO, meanwhile, originally priced at $ 100 has risen to 200 , at least for a new donation mechanism not dissimilar to the already discussed Give 1 Get 1. In this case it is a “give many” program, by means of which it is possible to purchase lots of 100, 1,000 and 10,000 XO for a minimum of 200 dollars each, while financing the shipment of additional laptops to the children in the developing countries. The concept is always the same: the more you buy here, the more they get there.

The rise in the price to the public – concerning a product that in any case has never been designed for an audience accustomed to the powerful systems on sale in the markets of rich countries – only confirms the recent statements of one of the founders of OLPC, according to the which assembling the PC costs 188 dollars which is a much higher figure than the $ 100 for the sale initially touted by Negroponte.

Be that as it may, the XO project is still moving forward: production is currently scheduled for next month, lagging behind the initial estimates made by the technologist. If OLPC manages to collect a substantial number of orders such as the one confirmed by the government of Uruguay, the initiative will finally take off leaving behind any criticism and perplexity.

Alfonso Maruccia