I am shocked at the non-response to last week's announcement that LATU Uruguay, the government entity testing both Intel's Classmate PC and One Laptop Per Child's XO computer, rated the XO-1 the better option for the children of Uruguay's Florida province, 56.84 points to 53.06 points.
Am I the only one to notice that this was the first (and so far, only) government administered test between the Classmate PC and XO laptop? A beneficial competition between low-cost laptops for the developing world with an objective winner, One Laptop Per Child.
Where are the Linux geeks screaming victory from the top of Monte VI De Este a Oeste? Do they not realize that with Uruguay poised to buy 100,000 XO laptops running a Sugar user interface on a Linux kernel platform, it is the first large-scale loss for the Wintel duopoly?
OLPC Uruguay is a wake up call to the IT industry, even slapping futurist like Gartner with a wet glove of Open Source reality. How foolish does Annette Jump, a research director at Gartner look after predicting that:
"The success or failure of ultralow-cost PCs will depend on the following six factors: government support and funding, Microsoft support, Intel and AMD support, attractive pricing, software and training in a local language, and support costs."Hello! Uruguay to Gartner: Classmate's Intel + Microsoft overclocked blotware is no match for the FLOSS revolution. Governments, teachers, even children are tired of crapware shoved down from on high. Real innovation, real computing, real future happens when you design for your target market, every target market, not just rich ones.
Now Luis Anavitarte, research vice president at Gartner is correct to say:
"While reducing the digital divide is absolutely critical for emerging economies in their development process, it is also a powerful driver for the future of the PC industry as low-cost PC users today may become mainstream PC users tomorrow."And for Uruguay, the future is clear, the future is here, the future is One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop. Or as David Pogue says:
The truth is, the XO laptop, now in final testing, is absolutely amazing, and in my limited tests, a total kid magnet. Both the hardware and the software exhibit breakthrough after breakthrough - some of them not available on any other laptop, for $400 or $4,000.And guess what Gartner? Not an Intel processor or Windows operating system in sight. No matter how much Intel wishes it was different.