OLPC Scales Back, Cuts 50 Percent of Staff

6 Comments

Nicholas Negroponte, the promoter of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, says that economic hard times have hit the OLPC effort, and the group will cut its staff by half; the remaining 32 employees will take a big salary cut. The work on version 2.0 continues, but some of the software efforts are being passed on to the community. Over past 12 months, OLPC has been hit with problems including exodus of key OLPC team members. I was skeptical of OLPC from the very beginning. The irony is that the idea behind OLPC — small, rugged, anytime, lightweight computers — has taken hold. Netbooks were one of the hottest selling items this holiday season.

6 Comments

Ed

Considering the fact that the OLPC have been deployed in some countries already, it should be possible to compare how the different software versions fare in different settings. For information on one place where the OLPC is already doing well, see
http://radian.org/notebook/astounded-in-arahuay

This is not to say that the OLPC’s XO laptop will work everywhere. The kids that will benefit are the ones that already have food, clothing, and shelter, and who live in a country or region where they don’t have a good goverment issued curriculum. Books may be cheaper than a laptop, but if you are living in a very rural area, you are not going to be able to go to a library or book store to find something better, if the government issued books are boring, confusing, or meant for a different age group.

Here is more information on the problems in the olpc organization:
http://radian.org/notebook/sic-transit-gloria-laptopi

Marco

Congratulations to the OLPC team for driving down the market price on a low-end portable computer from $800 to $200. A noble goal, and mission accomplished regardless of how many green laptops are in the field today.

Now that it’s been settled that even developing countries would rather buy Wintel from major vendors, it’s time to move on to building educational software for whatever product does sell by the millions.

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