OLPC: Negroponte wants "zero dollar laptop" for children
$100 for a laptop for a child in the poorest countries is still too much for Nicholas Negroponte. The founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, and founder and current chairman. of the One Laptop per Child project (OLPC) wants to give portable computers to all the children in developing countries. If possible, free of charge, he said to German Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. "$100 is prohibitive. Our computers should and will be zero dollar laptops. There are many ways of achieving this, and we will endeavour to do just that."
The key is in component integration, he said. "Today, an XO laptop consists of more than 900 individual parts. It has to be 50", said Negroponte. He doesn't seem to think that Intel's leaving the project at the end of last year jeopardises his plans. The computer processor vendor made a sudden exit from the project.
In the interview, Negroponte sharply criticised the US semiconductor group: "Intel came in late after taking a destructive position towards our project, used its insider status to be even more destructive than before, and then pulled out. All in all an unpleasant, time-consuming experience, without any technological benefit. It is a great relief that they've finally left."
The laptop project promoted by the OLPC foundation is developing with far greater difficulty than anticipated. So far, only several 100,000 items have been ordered by governments, while the original target was millions. The project was initiated in 2005 by Negroponte, who now plans to withdraw from the daily running of OLPC.