Once again, the OLPC project is offering its Give One Get One deal. This time it will be on Amazon. For $399.00, your child and one in another country will receive one of the colorful XO laptops. The company is still hoping to lower the price to $100.00, but so far increasing product costs have prevented it. About 473,000 units have been placed in 31 countries thus far. Order now in the U.S. and UK and get your XO this year. We are thinking that if you want to give your kids a great present for the upcoming holidays, he/she would love to know that they helped another child somewhere else.
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OLPC has gotten together with Amazon to sell its products in the U.S. Beginning in late November until the end of 2008, you can purchase the XO laptops in a G1G1 (give one, get one) deal for $398.00. The group plans on launching its second generation in 2010 with a touchscreen and hopes that it will come closer to the $100.00 price they originally envisioned. We suspect that the problem with the first model will continue to limit sales as we little people are thinking, “Hmmm. Buy extra computer or fill gas tank?”
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Microsoft has announced that it plans to install Windows XP to the inexpensive XOs that now run a customized version of Linux. To do this, OLPC spokesperson Kyle Austin says that they must redesign them and add $7.00 worth of hardware to build a stripped down version for an additional $3.00. While this might be a good thing for Microsoft, we note that the laptop, which started out as a $100.00 device, is now creeping up towards the $200.00 mark. As per usual, the OLPC people still claim that when the OX’s usage becomes more widespread, the price will come down.
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Speaking of the OLPC Program, if you took back some of the gifts you received already or are feeling particularly beneficent, you can still participate in the Give One Get One Project if you live in the United States or Canada. The deadline has been extended through December 31. For your $399.00 donation, one XO laptop will be given to your child and one sent to a girl or boy in a developing country. Don’t forget that $200.00 is tax deductible. (Yes, it’s already that time again.)
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It appears that the OLPC has already become a hit in Peru. At the Santiago Apostol School, it seems that the children in the small town of 800 can’t get enough of the computer. In fact, the school population rose by 10 when families heard the it was coming. Many of the children there leave after finishing schools because they don’t want to farm like their parents.
Maria Antonieta Mendoza, an Education Ministry psychologist who is helping to prepare for the rollout in March, claims that they love the built-in camera best, since many of them had only seen them previously belonging to tourists. In all, more than 272,000 units will be distributed in the county.
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Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child vision seems to have hit a snag. Although the computer was supposed to cost a mere $100.00, the price has doubled since its release on its Web site. This is partially due to fewer orders for the plastic encased device than expected. Its 1.1 version software should become available December 7 but there is no exact date for the units themselves. Apparently what was to be worldwide distribution has been narrowed down to only Uruguay and Mongolia. It seems to us that there would be plenty of room for sales right here in the States, where many children are also without computers.
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Three million OLPC XO-1s, at a price of $175.00 apiece, have been ordered by various governments around the planet, giving the company sufficient funding to start mass production of the units in October. No specific countries have been named, probably in an effort to dispel competition from other companies’ low cost computer sales efforts.
Even better news is that the non-profit organization may launch a commercial version for about $350.00 for children (and adults) who like many of the features, such as a sunlight readable display, low power consumption, and built-in wireless networking, and want their own XO-1s. This will be around that same time frame, right in line with the Christmas season. We hope that Santa will be packing lots of those in with his other goodies this year.
Read More | ABC
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
We speak with Eric Deritis from AMD as he gives us an overview of the OLPC. The One Laptop Per Child project is an important one, and Eric not only shows us a near-final build of the hardware and software, but he also gives us some background on the project itself, and why it’s impact could be so huge. One quote he gave us was that the product isn’t meant to reach the next billion people in the world, but rather it’s meant to reach the last billion people. Powerful stuff.