This happened just as Lancor a Nigerian Keyboard makers $20 million patent infringment lawsuit against OLPC was starting to cause problems with its injunction against activities in Nigeria and Mary Lou Jepsen the founding CTO was moving on to start her own company Pixel Qi.
Since then Microsoft has joined OLPC to firmly take over the Operating System driving seat (dual boot or not) causing the exit of the President of Software and Content for the project, Walter Bender, who stepped down in disagreement with the move.
What this has made clear is that within 12 months "Win" has replaced "tel" in an OLPC laptop cocktail that established global momentum without either - go figure.
The implied strategy from where I sit has been to create enough noise about the missed opportunity (i.e. low-cost computing) to get the attention of the deep pocketed players in the market so they do something about it.
This will make sense for OLPC though only if it goes all the way and also gives the XO hardware development to the establishment (HP, Dell, Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba.....take your pick) after leading the way with the XO-2 design being announced next week. That way it will get traction quicker by not needing to focus on the corporate political diversions that continually occur in the for-profit world.
It can then focus on become the "learning education" innovation hub for AMD, NewsCorp, Microsoft, Google, RedHat, whoever the hardware guys are and others in the technology in education as a social responsibility or for profit group.
"OLPC is not, at heart, a technology program, nor is the XO a product in any conventional sense of the word. OLPC is a non-profit organization providing a means to an end—an end that sees children in even the most remote regions of the globe being given the opportunity to tap into their own potential, to be exposed to a whole world of ideas, and to contribute to a more productive and saner world community."Tomi Davies has graciously allowed OLPC News to re-post this article from his blog Thoughts from Tomi.