OLPC embraces and criticizes XO competitors

By Justin Mann on
Since the launch of the OLPC project years ago, many other vendors have slowly started to pick up on the idea and ultimately set themselves on a path to compete with the non-profit group. While that may shrink the “market” that the XO's can be sold to, it has left David Cavallo, the “Chief Learning Architect” for the OLPC project, with a sense of pride. He says they take it as a huge success, and admits that a few years from now they may not even be making or selling the XO. He says that as long as someone is producing these laptops at low cost and aiming them at children in developing nations, their goals are being achieved.

A good point, but he just as quickly turned around and said that some of the actions of their for-profit competitors are “unfortunate.” He says that some of these competitors are seeing it as simply another market to compete in, not a humanitarian project. That could lead to fears that if players like the OLPC were pushed out, the costs would rise – directly against what the goal of the project began as.

The OLPC project has seen a lot of progress, recently getting a pilot program started in Peru and getting retail backers like Amazon. One of their biggest competitors will be Intel in the years to come.

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