Back in the day, One Laptop Per Child was innovative with its technology. It came up with a low-cost, durable, Open Source laptop for education when no one else would. And in bringing the XO-1 to market, it changed the technology industry.
That OLPC is now long gone.
In its place, we have a shell of a company. They don't do software anymore - that's spun off to Sugar Labs. They don't do deployments anymore - that's the country's responsibility or OLPC Foundation (whatever that is). And now OLPC has just given up on hardware innovation.
Re-branding is not innovating
It is sad news for all of us that remember that original OLPC. The OLPC that could push an industry create a whole new form factor overnight - the netbook. Now OLPC is reduced to selling out their name to make the claim that they have new hardware. And the sell out isn't even impressive. Just listen to Andy:
Though the new tablet may still be fashioned by acclaimed XO designer Yves Behar, it won't yet include many features OLPC's founder Nicholas Negroponte had described: The device won't, for instance, have the touted all-plastic components for durability, it won't be waterproof or half the thickness of an iPhone, and its Marvell processor will likely be one gigahertz, not eight. The low-power, reflective displays built by Pixel Qi may not make it into the 2011 version of the tablet either.
Wow, you'd think that OLPC could've at least gone for the Notion Ink "Adam" tablet - it already comes with the Pixel Qi screen and runs Android. That would've been innovative and shaken up the hardware market yet again.
But that OLPC is gone.