Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Intel stomps on good works

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Ugly, but in a capitalist system the only motive is profit:

Intel has decided to finally call it quits with the One Laptop Per Child non-profit project, due to (in their own words), a “philosophical impasse.” It sounds deep and profound, doesn’t it? Seems all along Intel was deeply committed to providing children low cost laptops in developing countries even though when OLPC was first launched it mocked the program and forecast its demise.

Since those remarks put a few dings in its public relations image, Intel came to the party (albeit late) with its own low cost laptop version, called Classmate, for children in developing countries. Of course, the Classmate laptop has Intel chips in it, not AMD chips, like the OLPC model. That’s one version of a philosophical difference.

In another philosophical reversal, Intel decided to join the OLPC Board of Directors last July, and collaborate with OLPC’s mission to provide technology to children in developing countries. However, their new relationship was short lived when OLPC demanded Intel stop undercutting OLPC. Apparently, in its zeal to provide technology to children, Intel’s sales force asked Peruvian officials to drop their quarter million unit order of OLPC laptops, and buy Intel’s Classmate instead.

And now, its come to this. A philosophical impasse from which there is no return, all in the name of, well the children, of course. “We have long believed there is no single solution to the needs of children in emerging and underdeveloped markets,” Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said.

So, what’s your take on Intel’s reversal? Philanthropic or profit driven?

Full disclosure: I bought one of the OLPC computers for The Younger Grandson.

Written by Leisureguy

7 January 2008 at 9:24 am

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