Today, like last month when he clarified the word "ordered," he is again using what would be an embarrassment to a commercial company and a positive spin for OLPC.
What's today's marketing judo? To clarify who is getting what more than his BusinessWeek interview, he had another email exchange with the press, this time an interview with ZDNet. There, Nicholas Negroponte says that Thailand will not be receiving 530 OLPC CM1 laptops in October,
Instead "visual models and developer board demos" will be sent to Nigeria in September and Thailand in October for field trials.So what of the claim by Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra that OLPC would deliver 30 prototypes of low-cost laptop computers to the Thai government in October and another 500 ones in November?
ZDNet UK quotes Negroponte as saying:
"Trials start everywhere at the same time," insisted Negroponte, adding that some journalists have erred by writing about a single country's involvement and touting it as "the first" deployment.So let's get it straight. No country has "ordered" OLPC computers, Nigeria and Thailand will be receiving mock-ups and demos in September/October, and "B-Machines" will be tested in November by..??
The first working, integrated laptops built on an assembly line, which Negroponte describes as "B-Machines", should be produced in November, he added. These devices will be "tested to destruction," he claimed.
Oh the mysteries that only a marketing genius can make! Hail to the Negroponte!