Negroponte slams Intel over OLPC competition
Won't somebody think of the children?
Nicholas Negroponte, the man behind the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has hit out at chipmaker Intel, saying the firm should be "ashamed of itself" for mucking around with OLPC's plans to get affordable laptop computers to children in developing countries.
Negroponte says Intel is selling its competing low-cost kiddie computer "Classmate" for less than cost. He says this is undercutting his own scheme and has hurt his plans "enormously", the BBC reports.
Intel denies the allegations, saying Intel's motives are the same as Negroponte's: to bring technology to young people. It also shrugged off allegations of negative marketing campaigns - that the firm has been distributing leaflets outlining the "shortcomings of the OLPC approach" in developing markets.
CEO Craig Barrett said: "Someone at Intel was comparing the Classmate PC with another device being offered in the marketplace. That's the way our business works." He added that he saw plenty of opportunities for the two organisations to work together.
But Negroponte told US broadcaster CBS that because the OLPC machine is based on an AMD processor, he was caught up in a long running war between the two chipmakers. "Intel and AMD fight viciously," he told CBS. "We're just sort of caught in the middle." ®
Negroponte: Whiner and Hypocrite
So, in essence, Negroponte is demonstrating that HE doesn't actually care about poor third world kids, not that Intel doesn't.
He is actually complaining that Intel is selling below cost...yet who the hell cares WHY Intel is selling below cost, if they are? That just means their product is that much cheaper.
Negroponte's more concerned with his own profit margin, apparently, than the fact that the "below cost" machines are therefore cheaper for third worlders.
He wants prices HIGHER, so he can make a profit.
Yet everyone else is getting sucked in, mainly because of their petty hatred of successful companies like Intel and MS.
Intel, the reconcilation's off.
I've always been an AMD fanboy since Intel went and introduced that Unique ID thing in their Pentium III CPUs. I was planning to give in and build a Viiv box just so I can watch Heroes online legally (can't escape it. Everywhere I go, people talk about it. At work, on the forums I visit, it's driving me nuts).
In retrospect, zark it. I'm a-building an AMD Live mach instead. Bob cares if I can watch Heroes or not.
I've seen Intel's machine, and god, it doesn't even have a touchscreen, just a trackpad. And the screen's arse small. What are they trying to do? Give the kids bad eyesight? Talk about inferiority.
Korhan, are you smoking something, or are you just pathologically paranoid?
What does Microsoft have to do with anything?!?
The idiocy of the OLPC aside (It doesn't solve any of the 3rd worlds problems, cheap PC's are plentyful) what's so wrong about this? The cheaper/better the computer the better, right? Does it matter if it's Intel inside or not? Of course not!
missing the point
The most important aspect of the OLPC effort is not to give children in third world countries computers as in "computing devices". Instead, the main driver is the use of those devices as *electronic books* because real books are expensive and they wear out very quickly and need replacing. The idea is to make the OLPC devices cheaper and longer lasting than paper books. It is before this background that the design and the technical details of the OLPC devices have to be judged.
Intel's Classmate PC seems more like a real computing device, albeit a low end one. It does not seem to be a sturdy electronic book like the OLPC device.
The whole thing is sour grapes
Am I alone in not seeing what Intel is doing wrong here? Negroponte wants cheap laptops for kids, and they're going to happen if Intel puts money behind it. Hooray for the world. He's just upset that they're not using his product.
If he's going to use Intel's competitor's products in his scheme, he should be neither surprised nor upset at Intel for offering a competing product. If you're worried about the fact that he didn't get compensated for the innovative value of the OLPC project, he should have patented the darn thing.
Plus, Negroponte is right: the sales numbers on this are too big, and there's a good chance this will drive down PC costs for everyone. Intel really has no choice but to do this, or they will get seriously toasted. You might not mind that, but from Intel's perspective, what else could they do?
I just don't get the "Big Bad Intel" angle on this thing.