Reality Check: No More "$100 Laptop" Slogan


Have you looked at, the One laptop Per Child website recently? Maybe you noticed a subtle change in the title of the site. In the past, there was a direct reference to the marketing price of the XO laptop:

olpc $100 laptop
One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a $100 laptop for the world's children's education
Today, I happened to glance at the title, and its now changed. Gone is a direct price point reference, and in its place, a slightly better explanation of what the Children's Machine offers:
One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a low-cost, connected laptop for the world's children's education
Kudos to OLPC for recognizing that the "$100 laptop" marketing slogan has distracted, if not derailed the conversation around the XO. It already produced "$100 laptop" blowback, the amazingly popular Asus Eee PC.

Now, maybe OLPC can take the next step and describe its mission and the XO in full detail, the way I've tried to described it when asked:

One laptop Per Child is developing and distributing the Children's Machine XO - the best educational technology for primary-age school children in the developing world.
Yeah, I know. Nowhere near the marketing genius of "$100 laptop", but much more accurate.

Related Entries


Of course the Eee started out as a '$199' computer.
Then we found out they were twice that price.
Quoting 'dollars' for anything is misleading at best since currency tends to fluctuate during economic upheaval.

It was about time that OLPC unburdened themselves of the $100 yoke around their neck and concentrate on the development of a truly low power, low cost, high performance laptop design.
The reality is that by putting 'Windows' in the mix spoils the recipe since that ubiquitous OS needs an X86 architecture which is in no way 'low power'.

What a shame.

The change in slogan may more accurately reflect the current situation, but it also means that they have officially abandoned a part of their initial goal... and that was to define a set hardware platform and have the software meet that hardware target.

I've been an advocate for making multiple OS options available for the XO... including WinXP. But with that advocacy was the stipulation that no change be made to the hardware to accommodate any specific OS. This "all are welcome but on XO-1's terms" just made sense.

It wasn't the invitation for WinXP to run on the XO-1 that caused an issue, IMO... it was the decision to modify the XO-1 hardware specs to accomodate WinXP that was.

And with no immovable foundation... software or hardware, OLPC is going to find it even more difficult to differentiate itself from late-comers competing for that same educational market.


Since the Dollar fell so fast, no way can the XO sell for $100. In Colombia alone, what once was $800 for 2,000,000 pesos is closer to $1,300! I should know, since I got my GF a new computer when we met and so I look pretty smart for at least a couple of reasons!

"Have you looked at, the One laptop Per Child website recently?"

Have you looked at, the One Laptop Per Child News website recently? Might be time for a corresponding change here too? Just sayin'.