Negroponte slams Intel over OLPC

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Negroponte slams Intel over OLPC

Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, has slammed Intel for its conduct..

In a statement released yesterday Negroponte accused the chip giant of joining the project late, continually running it down to others and not pulling its weight.

Negroponte maintained that Intel had contributed nothing to the project, and caused considerable harm to efforts to deliver XO laptops to the developing world.

"We at OLPC have been disappointed that Intel could not deliver on any of the promises they made when they joined OLPC. While we were hopeful for a positive, collaborative relationship, it never materialised," he said.

"Since joining the OLPC board of directors in July, Intel has violated its written agreement with OLPC several times.

"Intel continued to disparage the XO laptop in developing nations that had already decided to partner with OLPC [Uruguay and Peru], countries that were in the midst of choosing a laptop solution [Brazil and Nigeria], and even small and remote places where Intel has no real interest [Mongolia]."

Negroponte also claimed that Intel had insisted that its products could run on the XO when in fact no software development had been done.

The only thing Intel had done, according to Negroponte, was to suggest a pricier and more power hungry 'Intel Inside' laptop that was useless to the project.

Negroponte maintained that a classic example of Intel's tactics was demonstrated when it pulled out of the OLPC project.

"Our separation was announced single-handedly by Intel, which issued a statement to the press behind our back while asking us to work on a joint statement with them," he said.

"Actions do speak louder than words in this case. As we said in the past, we view the children as a mission; Intel views them as a market."

Intel and the OLPC project have had many run-ins over getting the $100 laptops to developing countries.

Negroponte accused Intel of interfering in the project back in May 2007, but the two sides appeared to make up last year when Intel agreed to join the project.

However, it all came to naught and Intel withdrew after barely six months' cooperation.

Intel claimed that Negroponte asked the firm to drop plans for its own low-cost laptop and concentrate on the XO, something it was not prepared to do.
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