Feeds

OLPC lays off half staff

Laptops for developing world credit crunched

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

One Laptop Per Child - the non-profit organisation aiming to give kids in the developing world their own laptops - is laying off half its staff and cutting salaries for those who are keeping their jobs.

Blaming the credit crisis, chairman and founder Nicholas Negroponte thanked those leaving for their contribution to "a noble cause".

The restructure leaves OLPC with 32 staff. It will focus on the development of its next machine XO-2 and on shipping a million XO laptops - the group has so far distributed 500,000 machines. Latin America will be spun off into a separate division while the Middle East, Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan "will become a major focus".

Negroponte said: "The future brings with it some uncertainty, some difficulty, but also the excitement that comes with the rededication to a cause, and a new path that will allow us to realize the moral purpose of OLPC."

The project is controversial with some development experts believing clean water, electricity and basic medicine are more important immediate requirements for kids in the developing world. What seemed like a radical idea in 2006 has also been the victim of developments in the mainstream market where the cheapest netbooks are not far from the $100 price point.

Longer term OLPC aims to bring the cost of machines down to zero for the least developed nations. It also runs a G1G1 - Give one, Get one scheme for people to buy a machine and donate one to the developing world.

The group lost several high ranking staff over its decision to work with Microsoft - the machines were launched with their own interface called Sugar which ran on Linux. We have a review of the machine here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.