Questions for Nicholas Negroponte on OLPC's Future


OLPC has changed its priorities drastically, with a very brief statement of its founder, Nicholas Negroponte, which did not clarify many key aspects of this change. On this basis, in the OLPC-Sur list we produced a set of questions that have been sent to Dr. Negroponte, and we hope to have the answer soon. Here they go:

olpc next generation

A. Development of generation 2.0

  1. It appears that the OLPC development team will dedicate themselves to this, is it so?
  2. What efforts will OLPC make to support the XO-1?
  3. Will the XO-2 be developed as an important free software project as the XO-1 was?
  4. For how long is the XO-1 going to be in production?
  5. Is the production of XO-1s at risk if the sales stop? Do you have a plan to sustain the demand for XO-1s in this atmosphere of uncertainty?
  6. What's your timeframe for having the XO-2 in the market?
  7. In what ways are you planning to involve the community in the development of the XO-2?

B. A no cost connectivity program

  1. What technologies are you aiming at?
  2. What will the first deployments be?
  3. What role will the community have in this project?

C. A million digital books

  1. How does this integrate into the ongoing OLPC project?
  2. What places will be given priority for their distribution?
  3. What technologies will be used for their implementation?
  4. Have you considered having them be sound and music players as well?
  5. What role will the community have in this?

D. Passing on the development of the Sugar Operating System to the community.

  1. In what way will OLPC support the community in this transition?
  2. What concrete plans do you have to help the deployment countries supported by the OLPC software developers who won't be there anymore?
  3. Will OLPC open other options for software platforms in addition to Sugar?
  4. What place will the community have inside OLPC?

xo is god
Marcelo Claure & Bolivian President

E. About OLPC Latinoamérica

  1. How this separation is gonna be handled? What this spin off mean?
  2. Which communication will remain between OLPC and OLPC Latina?
  3. Which it's gonna be the structure of the decision making process in OLPC and OLPC Latina?
  4. Which it's gonna be the OLPC's business model?
  5. Is Latinoamerica included in the "Give Many" program?

F. Other questions

  1. Have you thought how to keep improving and debugging the software of the already delivered XOs?
  2. What would you say is the OLPC's essential mission? has it changed? Que policies is OLPC going to use to accomplish that mission?
  3. How important is to give recognition and to strengthen the XO's community of free software developers to reach OLPC's vision?
  4. Is there any chance that one of the OLPC's board member could come from the OLPC community?

This post was originally published by Pablo Flores as Questions to Negroponte.

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OLPC has cut 50% of staff and spun off Latin America, Africa, and Sugar. What's left? Who's left? Why did it happen? And where is OLPC's future?
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This is an excellent set of questions. I hope Negroponte addresses them.

is anyone afriad that the project will fail?

There just seems to be so many weaknesses in the overall structure that I wonder if it will be able to keep up.

The XO-1 sell, but at a rather slow rate. the past g1g1 didn't get very much business, and its only once every blue moon that a country decides to buy 10k + units. basically, it will be a while before, numbers wise, much success can really be toted in my opinion.

There are somewhere between 500k to a million XOs out there in total. a sizeable number no doubt, but nothing that a major company couldn't surpass.

This last point brings me to my next one. organization and money. Money is the heck would a group like ours have any money? It would have to be for profit (at least in some way/shape/form) company in order to have any of that green stuff. As for organization, I dunno. It seems to me that there are lots of little group olpc projects floating about and there, doing their own little thing; and allowing others to keep up with what they are doing...but is there any group that is keeping track and organizing all of these groups? These things need structure and a grand scheme in order to be fully utilized.

Then theres the whole XO-2 thing. from soley a media perspective, its critical that the group gets face time on the news and keeps up with the rest of the world. There needs to not only be an XO-2 sooner rather than later, but it needs to a step up from the XO-1.

Otherwise, things will get boring to those who never cared much in the first place, and the organization could potentially lose even more power.

I know there is lots of work being done on the software side, and that there are people doing all sorts of small projects on the side and that there are people who are working on all the issues (such asorganization) and are trying to fix the problems. All these things are being worked out...but how is it coming along?

heh...i guess i need to read more of olpc

anyway, my two cents.