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You want a $100 computer? For $300? No sale!

No Laptop per Rich Child

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One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organisation with the goal of providing children in developing nations with laptop computers, today announced that "contrary to previously published reports OLPC has no plans to make the XO laptops available for sale to the general public."

Sad news for Computerworld's Frank Hayes who says he wants one.

Exactly where the idea comes from that the things would be generally for sale, isn't clear. Well, nearly; it came from the Consumer Electronics Show, where Michalis Bletsas, chief connectivity officer for the project, was quoted saying that eBay could be a partner to sell the laptop. "If we started selling the laptop now, we would do very good business," Mr Bletsas, told BBC News.

The Bletsas interview was long and detailed, and it's hard to understand how it might be wrong. But yesterday, the OLPC project went to the trouble of putting out a denial. OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte: "Contrary to recent reports, One Laptop per Child is not planning a consumer version of its current XO laptop, designed for the poorest and most remote children in the world."

He said that the XO "will be made available to governments in very large quantities to be given to all children free, as part of the education system."

The denial went on: "Many commercial ventures have been considered and proposed that may surface in 2008 or beyond, one of which is ‘buy 2 and get 1.’ In addition, OLPC is launching OLPC Foundation later this month, specifically to accommodate the huge goodwill and charity that has surfaced around the idea of a $100 laptop."

Which leaves Frank Hayes miffed: "Look, these machines. They're cute, colorful, rugged, and even at $300 each or more they'd be an inexpensive and very welcome addition to any long car trip with kids. Selling them to the general public would be a great way to raise extra money for the project, raise awareness of the project and generally feed the OLPC/XO machinery" he wrote.

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