OLPC Remains Laudable

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2007-11-15 Print this article Print

The OLPC isn't meeting its $100 goal but its work is still impressive.

Ive come up with an ambitious plan for my next five years. In five years I intend to be a billionaire and Im announcing it to the world so that everyone knows. But what if I dont make it to one billion in five years? What if Im only worth $900 million or, oh no, $800 million? Now some of you might be thinking, hey $800 million sounds pretty good to me, no need to be disappointed by that. Getting that close to a difficult goal is a major achievement.
Well sure, from a logical standpoint that makes sense. But you clearly havent been paying attention to the recent outcry over the failure of the One Laptop Per Child project to meet their original goal of the $100 laptop.
A few years ago MITs Nicholas Negroponte and the OLPC launched with the audacious goal of creating a powerful and unique laptop for the developing world that would only cost $100. However, recently the OLPC announced that the cost of their XO laptop will actually be $200 for now. And based on some of the discussion out on the Web, this clearly means that the OLPC and the XO laptop is a massive failure. It doesnt matter that a $200 laptop alone is an unbelievable achievement or that the XO contains innovative power, networking and display technologies not found in laptops worth thousands more. Since theyve come in at twice their original goal the OLPC might as well shut their doors and forget about helping millions of kids. OK, Im exaggerating a little bit. But for some reason the OLPC and the XO laptop has generated a fairly large share of criticism and skepticism since the very beginning. Click here to read the entire column Whats With the OLPC Hate?
Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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