Those $100/$200- Nick Negroponte’s laptop finally in production
Posted by egovindia on November 9, 2007
November 7th, 2007
Posted by Richard Koman @ November 7, 2007 @ 4:40 PM
$100 $200 laptops from Nick Negroponte are finally rolling off the production line at Quanta, the Taiwanese manufacturer of One Laptop Per Child’s breakthrough XO laptops.
OLPC says Quanta is currently producing 15,000 per month but that those numbers will rise.
“Today represents an important milestone in the evolution of the One Laptop Per Child project,” said Negroponte. “Against all the naysayers and thanks to great partners such as Quanta, we have developed and now manufactured the world’s most advanced and greenest laptop and one designed specifically to instill a passion for learning in children.”
I talked to Wayan Vota, editor of OLPC News a few days ago. Here’s what I learned:
- So far, Uruguay is the only country to have placed a firm order for the laptops. They’re expecting 20,000. OLPC says the first machines will be delivered this month, but the government association in Uruguay says they’re being told they won’t get machines until December.
- OLPC’s Give 1, Get 1 program (G1G1) is serious truth-or-consequences time for OLPC. The program, which only runs from Nov. 12 to 26, allows U.S. and Canadian buyers to buy two XOs: one for the buyer, one for OLPC’s international program. Originally, OLPC said they would only devote 25,000 machines for this program. Now they say there are no sales limits.
- It’s an open question as to how many G1G1 buyers will see machines by Christmas. OLPC says it will “start” to ship XOs to G1G1ers in December, but if tens of thousands are going to Uruguay, how many will be available for G1G1? In any case, “geeks should be willing to wait,” Wayan said, so that the machines can get to the kids first.
- G1G1 is not a nice little addition to OLPC’s main effort though. Negroponte’s original philosophy of selling laptops in million-unit lots to developing countries has gone over like a ton of bricks. Nick has shaken a lot of presidential flesh, but actual orders from educational ministers? Nada. Wayan says XOs will enter the developing world through philanthropic programs like G1G1.
“I’m hoping there will be a really strong response,” Vota said. “OLPC needs to prove to Quanta and the world that there is strong demand.”
- Without a strong showing for G1G1, OLPC might be unable to maintain production momentum. Even if the charitable program is a success, developing countries will want to see the machines used and serviced successfully in the field, before those million-unit orders start flowing, Wayan said.
- On the partner front there have been some cool deals, including free T-Mobile hotspot service to G1G1 buyers for a year, and Hosting.com donating a laptop for every server it sells.
On a geekier note, check out Wayan’s write-up on XO’s groundbreaking Sugar interface. He says:
The field of interaction design has been shaken in the last year as it hasn’t been since the Xerox Parc, more than 20 years ago. The old metaphors of desktops and the idea that the mouse is the center of our universe are being radically changed by mainly three mainstream products: the Wii, the iPhone and – of course, since you are reading OLPCNews – the XO laptop.
You probably know about the Motion Sensors on the Nintendo video game, and about all the multiTouch going on with the apple phone, but do you know why the “$100 laptop” interface experience, called sugar, is radically different from any other operating system on the market?