Where is the XO-3?


Back in early November Nicholas Negroponte said that the XO-3 was slightly delayed and would be presented in February 2011. Many people (yours truly included) had assumed this was a reference to a prototype making an appearance at Mobile World Congress which took place in mid-February and is basically the event for all things mobile. However Mobile World Congress went by without any mention of the XO-3.

iPad 2 announcement

Now that Apple launched the iPad 2 earlier today (head over to Engadget or your gadget Web site of choice for extensive coverage) it's clear that all media coverage will be dominated by it for the weeks to come as it slowly becomes available across the globe. Hence I wouldn't expect for OLPC and its technology partner Marvell to announce the XO-3 in the middle of Apple's PR Blitz because it likely wouldn't receive too much attention.

Which leads us back to the initial question: Where is the XO-3?

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I think that the XO-3 will be further delayed after yesterday's iPad2 release. And is not the "attention" that is the problem.
Nor because OLPCers are lazy bums and liars.
Apple is just raising the bar too high for everybody else to jump in.
Ipad is selling for $500 with probably 35% profit margin, it means ~$325 cost. Notions Ink's Adam start's at $375 or $500 with the PixelQi screen. Marvell, demoed the tablet few months back, but I guess is still thinking if it's worth the investment considering what they are up against.
IPads UI/software sets the bar also too high. No python, java or flash and still 60.000+ apps. More important _many_ content creation apps, not just consumption. A good SDK and set of APIs, an efficient language (C) and a bit of profit will do that, and also keep power consumption around 2W.
At the same time Android 3 is still in the sidelines, android apps are hit with malware and are removed from the market, Fedora is still trying to get ARM right, Python is still developing glue libraries and moving to the bigger and better v3 (...) and Sugar is not even in the drawing board when it comes to touch interface.
So, yeh, XO-3 may take a year or 2 or 3!...
You can blame N. Negroponte for failing to beat Steve Jobs (being short a couple of hundred billion dollars also does not help a lot either ;-) but I think you should just blame Apple.
Then go buy an iPad2 :-)

Insightful response by mavrothal, but it only tackles the easy stuff.

What software should XO-3 run ?

Sugar is great, but none of the activities are touch-enabled, much less designed for multi-touch.

The electronics is easy, the industrial design isn't, but the state of open source K-6 educational software for tablets outside of Android is even worse.

BTW, we are working on XO-3. But please disregard anything you've already seen.

"BTW, we are working on XO-3. But please disregard anything you've already seen"

??? Is that a hint ???

Regarding Sugar/software I think I was equally pessimistic as you ;-) Which is the (other) "hard staff" you imply?

John, thanks a lot for your comments. While my inner geek can't wait to see what the hardware and industrial design will look like I certainly agree that the software is the much harder part of the equation.

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