Brazil to order up to 1.5 million Intel Classmate PCs with Mandriva Linux

   
   
   
   
   

Whenever people - including Nicholas Negroponte - speak about OLPC it doesn't take long until Intel's competing offer, the Classmate PC series of netbooks, is mentioned. Now one of the most interesting aspects of the Classmate PC is that even though it's existed since 2007 I've never been able to figure out just how many of them are actually in use today. I've asked countless people who are normally quite well informed about these things but nobody seems to know.

So with this background I was very surprised to see this press-release by Mandriva which says that Brazil will purchase up to 1.5 million Intel Classmate PCs running the Madriva Linux distribution:


Popular in D.C. and South America
The Brazilian government education authority has selected Intel-powered classmate PCs running Mandriva Linux for educational use nationwide. Mandriva is working with the hardware manufacturer partner Positivo, to deliver this open source solution which will help teachers to improve students education. Also, this will be one of the world biggest organized deployment of Linux, with potential to get to 1.5 Million units, and confirms Linux as a key, cost-effective alternative PC operating system. The hardware, operating system and software is targeted to have a per student cost around USD $200.

While it's not quite clear to me what "potential to get to 1.5 Million units" exactly means it certainly sounds like this will be a large project. Combined with the 3 million netbooks - which I also believe to be Classmate PC based - that Argentina's Conectar Igualdad program is currently distributing this certainly makes for impressive Intel-powered deployments in two of South America's largest countries.

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2 Comments

Just curious if this deal came through and how many units have been deployed in the past 4 months. "Upto 1.5mill" sounds promising, but what are the real numbers on the ground?

We're developing education apps/ content (English, for now) for Linux and would be happy to see more tablets in the hands of students anywhere in the world. Does this come with a store? Does it support Intel AppUp? Any information is greatly appreciated.

Vinay, since publishing that article we learned that what happened in Brazil is that the presidency created a credit line for regional governments
(states & municipalities) to be used for the purchase of those "up 1.5 million Classmate PCs" until mid-2012. The information available online leaves
much to be desired but
http://www.bndes.gov.br/SiteBNDES/bndes/bndes_pt/Institucional/Apoio_Financeiro/Programas_e_Fundos/prouca.html
and http://www.fnde.gov.br/index.php/laptops-educacionais-apresentacao
contain a quick overview.

I do of course realize that this doesn't really answer your question about how many units are in the hands of children:-/

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