Can I be honest? Intel was never really interested in partnering with the One Laptop Per Child project. The marriage of Intel and OLPC was destined for divorce before the two ever walked down the aisle.
As so often is the case in a divorce, the partners have very different explanations for the split-up. In a press statement, Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy said the OLPC board “had asked Intel to end its support for non-OLPC platforms, including the Classmate PC and other systems.” Further, “they wanted us to focus our support exclusively on the OLPC system.”
The OLPC organization fired back the next day in its own press statement, saying, “since joining the OLPC Board of Directors in July, Intel has violated its written agreement with OLPC on numerous occasions. Intel continued to disparage the XO laptop in developing nations that had already decided to partner with OLPC (Uruguay and Peru), with countries that were in the midst of choosing a laptop solution (Brazil and Nigeria), and even small and remote places (Mongolia).”
The New York Times dug up more dirt on the split over the weekend. According to writer John Markoff, an Intel salesperson tried to talk the Peruvian government into dropping the OLPC’s XO computer for Intel’s Classmate PCs. When OLPC leader Nicholas Negroponte found out, that was the last straw, and OLPC and Intel were on their way to splitting.
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