The Wall Street Journal today reports that the new XO laptop, centerpiece of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)project, is stimulating an active response from both Intel and Microsoft. The companies evidently feel threatened by the little upstart, intended to help third-world children. (The XO runs Linux and uses AMD chips.)
Microsoft has cut their software to $3 each and Intel has designed their own laptop called the Classmate to sell between $230 and $300, nearly double the XO's price. Rather than defend the relative merits of his creation, professor Negroponte is crying foul and (if the article is to be believed) not even arguing the technical merits. The initial demand for the XO has fallen well below Mr. Negroponte's projections as Intel and Microsoft have successfully argued that their entries are superior. 45,000 have been ordered through the Give One, Get One campaign. I am happy that I ordered mine — it will be a landmark model in any case.