Friday, January 09, 2009

Dream of changing the developing world with free laptops for poor children suffers a blow - The Boston Globe

A stark OLPC reality check

"The economic downturn hit us like everybody else," said Nicholas Negroponte, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who founded the One Laptop Per Child Foundation. The foundation laid off 32 of its 64 workers and cut pay for the rest.

A wave of cheap laptops has come to the market since Negroponte's foundation introduced a no-frills machine in 2007. Similar "netbooks," modest laptops from companies like Dell Inc. and the Hewlett-Packard Co. that sell for as little as $300, became commonplace last year.

"We're not the newest story in town," said Negroponte. "The novelty has worn off."

I guess we won’t be seeing the cool OLPC 2.0 vision coming to fruition anytime soon – or, as with netbooks, perhaps we will, just not with an OLPC label.

Dream of changing the developing world with free laptops for poor children suffers a blow - The Boston Globe

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