A 2008 Press Release Prediction: Diamondville XO Laptop

   
   
   
   
   
intel inside olpc

This is the press release that we are soon going to read in 2008:

Intel abandons the Classmate PC to focus on Diamondville in the Intel-powered laptop.
Intel and everyone else in OLPC will work also on future XO laptops that may also include laptops better suited for older children and adults.

Every age-group in developing countries need the low power consumption, the sunlight readable screen, the DCON-CPU-Screen mechanism to be able to read ebooks for tens of hours on a battery, wireless mesh to make WiFi hotspots much more usable and to achieve much better productivity in all age-groups.

Collaboration software over WiFi Mesh should also be made for company-level applications, for optimizing adults productivity. Intel and OLPC can maximize R&D on that. Asus will also crank an XO screen onto the Eee, include in it a Diamondville and within 3-6 months there will be an Asus-made XO laptop.

So I expect Intel Diamondville and possibly Menlow to appear in low cost laptops soon, within 3-6 months probably. Even though ULV processor in the Classmate and the Eee is supposed to stand for Ultra Low Voltage, the ULV platform with conventional LCD screen still consumes 3 times as much power in full backlight mode and 10-20 times as much power in black and white DCON-CPU-Screen mode.

Especially ULV platforms really cost $400-650 in reality making it unrealistic to mass manufacture the Eee and the Classmate PC in their current state. So most probably that those large numbers of laptops that Intel and Asus are claiming they have sold, are to be for future Diamondville powered versions.


Eee & OLPC similar view

But I expect it will make much more sense for Intel and Asus to integrate the OLPC XO technologies, I am sure the other companies in the OLPC board will be happy to share all the technologies with Intel and Asus and the other way around.

Microsoft isn't let out, they will provide Windows XP Lite that can be booted on an SD card in any XO computer. Which is just fine, so people in the third world can get accustomed with the OS that the developed world has been using for the past 15 years.

One main new feature of Windows XP Lite, I think will be Wireless Mesh networking features built-into some Windows applications. I also predict Windows XP will be open-source at some point,

Microsoft might give one SD card with Windows on it for free to every child. Why not, that's also some nice extra memory that will hopefully also be available on those SD cards (Microsoft, psst, provide a few more gigs of empty space on that card please).

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34 Comments

What the heck is this? What ever you are smoking or huffing, quit it! This isn't news...

Negroponte, is this you?


After reading about Intel joining the OLPC Board and the like, I'm sure something like this will be coming about sooner or later. However, I think it is also fair to assume that any future XO will remain compatible with previous versions (otherwise these initial sales to Uruguay, Peru, &c. would be self-defeating).

So, not being a die-hard computer geek, assuming the XO 2 does have an Intel chip and is Windows-friendly, do you think those of us getting the XO 1 will get the better deal, or those getting later Intel/Microsoft versions?

Hm...

I don't know what to feel about this...

I can't shake off the feeling that OLPC is losing its original vision and intention as time pass by...

Also, I think it's way too early to start talking about XO2...

Negroponte says he promises future XOs won't add new features, but instead just be cheaper and perhaps provide better battery life.

Basically the XO is Windows-friendly by definition since it is using the Geode which is an X86 processor, but the thing is just hardware specs are set lower than the normal Windows XP distribution. So for sure it probably costs Microsoft a few millions to make the Lite version of Windows XP, but it's not like it is impossible. It's just going to be a smaller more compact and less bloated version of Windows XP, with less options and less features. Surely Adobe Photoshop and video editing software for Windows XP won't run smoothly on it, but there probably will be a whole bunch of Windows XP software that should run OK, there could be a list of Windows XP apps that run smoothly, and that should be good enough for most use probably.

I'm not sure the Intel Diamondville version of the XO will be so called XO-2, I think it might simply be an Intel powered XO-1. All Intel needs to do really is just a fanless X86 processor with similar or better performance, power requirements and same or lower price than the AMD Geode that is currently used. I'm not sure, but I guess Intel shouldn't have too many problems implementing that fast. And perhaps when the Intel powered version is tested and ready to go, it might be 50% of the XO laptops that will have an Intel chip.

Unless Intel wants to immedialtely rank its Diamondville at a better performance/price/power consumption then the Geode that is used in XO-1, and at that point Intel might be "competing" with AMD for XO-2. But again, it's a bit like the Red Cross competing with Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to bring vaccines instead of sharing the work and cooperating on getting the most done as quickly as possible.

The only new feature perhaps being WiMax as a secondary wireless technology on top of the WiFi Mesh. Although the latest I heard, WiMax is too expensive for now and it might consume too much power. So if Intel can help bring down cost and power consumption down on WiMax, then possibly XO-2 can get WiMax as a secondary wireless technology. So for example one kid has the WiMax switch turned on and all other kids just need the WiFi mesh. So perhaps there would be a physical WiMax on/off switch on the XO-2.

- We know that Nicholas Negroponte has asked Paul Otellini that OLPC and Intel's engineers should sit down together and get to work on the Intel powered XO laptop in January.

- We know that Intel is preparing an OLPC related announcement for the CES on January 7-12th in Las Vegas. (WSJ journalist says so on NPR)

- We know Intel is investing millions in making an OLPC specific processor codenamed the Diamondville. Which thus is probably a bit different from the Menlow project which is what Intel is using to replace the ULV for their next generation UMPCs.

The equation for the CPU relies only on these:
- Performance (Geode LX-700 performance is good enough for most computing requirements of a child for education)

- Power consumption (Geode LX-700 seems to be 0.8W, even lower with DCON-functionality and XO screen is quite good, provides between 5-23 hours depending on video playback with backlight or sunlight reflective ebook mode)

- Price (Geode LX-700 is cheap)

- Availabillity (should be mass producable relatively quickly)

If Intel can match or improve on the performance, power consumption, price and availabillity of the AMD Geode LX-700, then that is what will determine if Intel's Diamondville will be available in an Intel powered XO-1 to be unveiled possibly at CES and released possibly within 3-6 month or if Diamondville won't be integrated before XO-2 thus possibly not before the end of next year.

I can't stand intel laptops... I'm glad I will get the fist batch of XO AMD versions.

Thanks for the technical comments.

Let me just ask though, am I the only one who thinks there is an inherent value in basing all the software on open source freeware as opposed to proprietary systems whose ultimate purpose is corporate profit? Do other folks see the same problem or am I just the resident nut?

To quote one of my earlier comments on this blog:

"The fact is, the Intel/Microsoft scheme is perfectly predictable, creating yet another web of dependency for the developing world. These countries that invest in all these Classmates and $3 Microsoft software packages are locking themselves into dependency on these for-profit corporations who WILL - sooner or later - begin jacking up the prices and making upgrades and the like more expensive since the clients will be forced to deal with them in order to avoid wasting their previous investment. After all, unlike OLPC, their ultimate purpose – as for-profit multinational corporations – and only loyalty is to shareholder value; i.e. their whole mission is to make money and when this mission is directed against the world’s poorest people it can not turn out well.

"One of the primary advantages of the XO and its reliance on Linux-based freeware is that it is non-proprietary and upgrades and future development is open and free. Some kid in Uruguay may come up with some great idea; and on the XO everyone will have access to it; whereas some kid in Libya with the same idea will either never be heard, or if he is, his idea will be exploited by Intel/Microsoft to add billions more to their already bloated coffers.

"The entire idea of the XO (at least as I see it) is in part to close the technology divide between rich and poor countries thereby leading to their empowerment. These Intel/Mircosoft schemes are the exact opposite, one more effort at enslaving the developing world in a web of dependency based on the tender sensitivities of multinational corporatism."

From: http://www.olpcnews.com/commentary/press/wall_street_journal_olpc_intel_microsoft.html#comments

No John, you are not the resident nut. With MS licensing and their choke hold on software, it is best that students stick with open source. With open source, sharing of information and learning will be much easier once the software is stable.

On another news, AMD makes its own brand laptop "Schoolmate"

As long as we are adding software, let's get Steve Jobs on the phone and see if he'll put OS X mobile (iPhone) on a SD card for OLPC. That would give developing counties all the headaches they need. Windows, Mac, Linnux. It's Tuesday, it's a Mac day.

I ordered my OLPC because it isn't windows or pc. I can't wait to get it and see what the people of the world are doing with it. Sorry for the sarcasm. That's part of working with middle school students.

Charbox, I work at Intel Press Relations. The next news release--slotted for CES in Jan 7-10--is an announcement of the new classmate PC by Intel CEO. Sorry to dissapoint you, but just like the XOs, we do have lots of requests from students for classmate PCs too.

We use Charbax as comic relief here at OLPCNews.

Wow, Charbax, you took your sour pills this morning, didn't you? Basically everything you say in your post seems to:

1) go against everything NickNeg has been saying until now regarding the philosophy of OLPC and the XO (and certainly much of the reason I am supporting this project).

2) be specifically designed to seem abrasive and trollish to folks who really believe in OLPC and the XO.

3) be phrased in a way that makes us hate that we bothered.

How does this help the cause? If you're concerned, then let's talk about the hard facts that you're concerned about and leave the reactionary stuff for the haters on the gadget blogs and the mainstream American press.

There are people who are on the cusp of dropping $400 for the G1G1--I've been telling people to come here for info on the XO. They read your post and could easily be turned off saying something like: "It's all going to go Micro$oft and ditch open source? I might as well buy an eee, in that case!"

Your concerns may be valid based on the facts you present, but they also may be invalid and the way you negatively contextualize everything is very discouraging to people. You make it sound as if it's inevitable that OLPC will sell out and become part of the problem.

You don't even suggest that you could be wrong and that things just might work out.

So, as a busy person who makes time to talk up the XO and OLPC to just about everyone he talks to, I'd like to ask you politely to try to be more balanced in your presentation of the facts or not post. I want to hear anyone's concerns that this is all going to fall apart. But you know as well as I do that all of your post is conjecture. You have no way to definitely know what's going to happen next year. OLPC has only been around a couple years, so there's no way you can stand back far enough to see trends just yet. So, voice your concerns and we'll all be concerned with you.

Tell us that there's no hope and then I'll ask why should we bother?

Hey I-m not concerned about the current AMD powered Sugar Linux based XO, I think it will be mass produced in its current form to tens of millions of units.

Basically what I am suggesting is that Intel will join in the XO movement doing an exact same XO just with an Intel processor, instead of working against OLPC with the classmate. So instead of there being deployed only 10 million AMD powered XOs by the end of next year there will also be 10 million powered by Intel and performing, battery consuming, costing the same thing. So with Intels help there will be twice as many XO laptops out there. 50% AMD and 50% Intel. How can this be bad? Perhaps VIA will join in the party as well taking care of another few milion processors as long as they can provide a compatible processor.

As for the Sugar OS I am sure it will remain the default on all the laptops, for sure it will. It-ll continuously be optimized, new cool educationnal apps will be available for it.

What I-m saying about Wimdows XP Live is that Microsoft might send it out to all the kids for free on a bootable SD card that will work on any XO. Not replacing Linux Sugar for sure. But rather a secondary OS option for kids to checkout and learn to use. Perhaps there might be one or two apps that might run better or only be available on Windows. So basically when rebooting the computer while the Microsoft SD card is inserted it will show a dual boot screen where the kid chooses which OS to boot on. If Aple wants to tweak and unbloat OSX to run on the XO specifications and give out Mac SD cards then that would be fine as well.

But I don-t see Windows XP Live being preinstalled on the laptop instead of Linux Sygar unless Microsoft opens up the source and frees up Windows XP Lite. How would that be a bad thing for the open-source community?

"But I don-t see Windows XP Live being preinstalled on the laptop instead of Linux Sygar unless Microsoft opens up the source and frees up Windows XP Lite. How would that be a bad thing for the open-source community?"

I think sufficient amounts of money and pressure can change the mind of those delivering the XOs to the children.

Think. If you earned a few billion dollars a MONTH, would you let it go just because someone could deliver a better product for less?

And the people from MS would not hesitate a second just because XP is fundamentally unsafe for children and useless for 3rd world classrooms. Better no functional laptop than a Linux laptop.

Winter

I think it is not a coincidence that Bill Gates is stepping down from Microsoft just now, it's because now is the time that Linux will replace Windows on the desktop and the laptop. That is unless Microsoft opens-up the source code of Windows XP Lite, or perhaps call it Windows Open or something. That is the only way Microsoft will be able to compete. Vista will stay the closed source OS for expensive powerfull machines while Windows Open would be free on cheap unbloated machines.

"Vista will stay the closed source OS for expensive powerfull machines while Windows Open would be free on cheap unbloated machines."

Powerful and Vista in the same sentence?
And Open Source Windows for all to see? Any suggestion on how they would handle all the copyright and patent questions (booth legally and illegally incorporated), and the dismal code quality reported by everyone who has looked at it?

They are working on a Vista High Performance Computing (HPC) version which actually needs LESS hardware than the consumer editions. Still, there are I think only 2 Windows computers in the top 500 supercomputer list, so they do have some way to go.

Winter

Robert Arrowsmith wrote:

"We use Charbax as comic relief here at OLPCNews."

Well said, Robert Arrowsmith.

Charbax's irrational hatred of all things Microsoft/Intel, coupled with his continuos hallucinations, takes a lot of credibility away from OLPCNews as a source of intelligent, unbiased information on the XO.

Both OLPC supporters and critics can do without all the bizarre conjectures.

Both Roberts,

While y'all might not agree with Charbax, I am proud to publish his ideas, thoughts, and concerns around OLPC. Especially if they are different from the accepted norm.

OLPC News is a forum for news, information, commentary, and discussion of One Laptop Per Child, and I work very hard to maintain its openness.

Speaking of that, where's a post from either of you recently ;)

I'm planning to go to CES like I was last year and I would be very dissappointed if Intel is working on something against the XO instead of working with it.

Negroponte specifically says that the whole XO hardware design is open-source and available to any company who wants to join in the effort or who wants to copy any parts of the effort. So unless Intel has a better price/power-comsupmtion/performance/availabillity factor as a reason to promote another Classmate PC as a different laptop from the XO, then definately there should be no reason for Intel to insist with marketing of their Classmate brand as an OLPC-killer. Which would be really unappropriate now that Intel is even in the OLPC board.

It's like Bill and Melinda Gates foundation insisting on killing off the Red Cross and Unicef. Not going to happen. They should all work together to fix the problem instead.

So if the Intel PR guy really means that Intel continues their Classmate as a competitor to XO, perhaps they really don't want cheap, low power laptops to be mass produced and perhaps Intel really only wants to kill off OLPC by all means because they only see cheap computing as a threat to their current wordwide market domination. If the latter is the case, if Intel continues the Classmate only as a competitor of XO, then I certainly hope Intel will be put to shame by most in the industry.

Intel's tactics have already hurt OLPC enormously, every day that the hundreds of millions of children are left without a better education is a tragedy. So I expect Intel can make the good decisions going forward, perhaps issue an official appology, and then we can all forget about the bad decisions of the past and we can all look into the future fixing the gigantic education problems.

Well said Charbax. Intel doesn't care about the kids. They are out to rule the market. The XO in its current form and design from the way I see it will help the kids. They don't need technological sophistication to learn.

Teach someone to read. Change a life. Well done OLPC.


Not being an integral part of the OLPC News community per se, or much of a computer geek, I'm glad to see the I am not the "resident nut" and that others share the same concerns even if the terminology differs.

Thanks for the interesting comments and views.

Might you think Charbax crazy for his thoughts on an Intel XO? Then may I present you with this tidbit from the OLPC Developers listserv: http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel

"What is the "Intel XO"? It is a tentative version of the XO hardware using an Intel chipset. Intel has engineers looking at this possibility; this was a result of the OLPC/Intel agreement earlier this year. Timeframes, actual production, cost, etc are still in flux/unknown."

Charbax, I'm sure you and some others will want to regard Classmate as a competitor to XO. Interestingly, we never really see Classmate as an XO-killer. It's tough to co-exist as long as you don't give us a chance to show that Classmate can contribute to learning too. Lets face it, the day of world dominant is over. Everyone knows Intel alone cannot provide the whole world with the only processors to run today's computing requirement.

By the way, stop blaming us for the "hundreds of millions of children are left without a better education". My friends here are also running programs to help teachers/students and improve education in some countries. You don't need to read our news releases, you just have to visit some of these schools and talk to these students.

No, we are not asking you to apologize for the accusations you made because we understand your passion for XO. Just as we are also passionate of our decent work. Everytime we see students in our pilots making progress in their schoolwork, we feel good too.

On that note, does the hundreds of people working on Classmate feel bad working in a major corporation like Intel? No, it doesn't--because we know the truth.

Intel PR, can you confirm that Intel has been lobbying for the Classmate mostly in the same countries where Negroponte has been pushing the XO ?

What other parts that the processor is Intel good at doing?

Why can't the hundreds of people at Intel working on the Classmate not instead work with OLPC on doing better XO designs and at the least make an Intel powered XO?

Can you confirm that the Classmate consumes 3-20 times more power than the XO, that it does not have a sunlight readable mode and ebook mode, that it does not have Wireless Mesh network, that it does not have a DCON process to shut down the CPU when it is not needed (for example when reading ebooks).

Of course students enjoy the Classmate, it's basically just like any other laptop just in a small version.

But put an XO in the room and children will flock to the XO even if they already have a Classmate. The XO is kid-friendly, the Sugar interface is education friendly.

Comon, what's the point in marketing the Classmate as an alternative to XO, really what's the point? Perhaps Intel does not think it is able to put a Diamondville in the current XO design? Perhaps Intel does not want the XO design to be successful?

Can you confirm that the Classmate is alot more expensive to manufacture than the XO, what is the point in spreading rumors about it costing $230 when in fact an fan-cooled ULV based system with a conventional LCD costs much more to manufacture than a Geode system with the new XO screen?

What is Intel's reason for working against OLPC instead of working together? Why does Intel view OLPC as a competitor?

Good questions, Charbax. Let me answer your queries...

Yes, we are rolling out pilots of classmate PCs in more than 30 countries this year. Many if not all are in the same countries that we are seeing XOs. We think the schools (or sometimes the government) know what's best for them. Intel has been working in some of these emerging markets for years as part of our broader education initiatives and local ecosystems development. In some countries, we’ve been investing there for more than 20 years and some places we are relatively new but that shouldn't stop us from working the ground. :-)

Other than processors? Well, glad you asked but the answer won’t surprise some hardcore tech followers. Our approach and strategic strengths: education (improve teacher and kids learnings through IT via more than a dozen on-going initiatives), connectivity (broadband/WiMAX), content (working with local content aggregators and on tailored-made software solutions such as skoool.com) and accessibility (working on affordable solutions with local players for support, distribution and manufacturing). A combination of these is lethal and especially welcoming to schools and governments who look beyond the nuts and bolts of the product.

We do have a good number of people working on various low-cost solutions for emerging markets (including those on XOs and other upcoming low-cost solutions that I am not at liberty of revealing at this time). Our ethnographic studies continues to show that "one size doesn't fit all". What does this mean: A classmate PC will not be the only solution to help bridge that digital gap. Intel needs to continue to look into different solutions to meet the various needs of the people in these developing nations.

Classmate PC consumes more power than XO? Yes and no; depending on how you would do the testing. You’ve seen some reviews (most recently by CNET). So I will let these people explain better. Classmate PC does not have sunlight reader and ebook mode; just as the XO does not have some of the features you would see in classmate PC (such as note taker and advanced security features). All said, we actually like some of these features in XOs, and our engineering teams are working together on a number of initiatives to improve each other offerings. Mesh networking? We've done some testing a few months back and in fact raw mesh networking works on current iteration of classmate PC. In fact, we demoed it a couple of times to a few reporters six months back. Look out for our next version of classmate PC.

XO, classmate PC and even Asus Eee PC are all kid-friendly and have user interface that are easy to use by K-12 students.

The point about classmate PC as an alternative to XO? Well, it's like saying we only need the Red Cross to help solve a country’s health problem (or in our context, let there be no Linux except Windows). Now that doesn’t sound right to many people out there. More importantly whatever the schools or classes decide to use, hopefully these can integrate together (just as how my Linux media server is seamlessly talking to my Windows-based notebook).

I can’t comment anything on Diamondville (or Silverthorne) at this time. Safe to say that whatever innovations we do, “it needs to be scalable: it must be able to be produced, marketed and used in many locales and circumstances” (CK Prahalad). More to say at a later time.

Does a classmate PC cost more than $230? Definitely not. Without giving away trade secrets of how much all these components and manufacturing add up to, it cost less when you buy classmate PCs in bulk. How do we keep the cost low? A combination of business model innovations, high-value low-impact design innovation, standardization or mass commodization of components, as well as manufacturing efficiency.

Is Intel working against OLPC instead of working together? There are differences between the two organizations on various matters from the type of processors to use (that’s an obvious point of contention for us) to how the usage model should work (should teachers or students take the lead). The good thing is our people are talking and started to work together. We may not get everyone to agree on everything but we are talking steps towards fulfilling the same goal in some ways together.

Does Intel sees OLPC as a competitor? Yes (I think this is what you want to hear). Intel is a business entity and the slightest threat to its core product (i.e. processors) means we need to be on our guard. We compete also because Intel wants to do a lot more and protect its investment in these countries. Yet working together on some initiatives may help both parties to better reach out and help children improve their learnings. It’s not easy to see a major corporation such as Intel trying to help solve one of the world’s problems (i.e. education) and the same time developing an economic sustainable solution (i.e. creating value for Intel and the ecosystem) and expanding its market share.

I may not have all the complete answers to your questions but the lines are open for real honest discussions (just keep the insinuations and propaganda to the minimal). :-)

Assuming this is a genuine Intel post:

"(such as note taker and advanced security features)"

Brilliant. Even better security in a Windows XP laptop than in the XO!

Please elaborate. We are dying to know how you got Windows XP secured and how you have beaten the cryptographic bios and image signing of the OLPC.

There simply is too little technical information available on the Classmate.

"I may not have all the complete answers to your questions but the lines are open for real honest discussions (just keep the insinuations and propaganda to the minimal). :-)"

You still have not answered the most fundamental question, so I will ask it here as a reminder:

Does Intel sell the Classmate at a loss to foreign governments?

How many classmates can be delivered at the current price?

That is, can Intel deliver on the promise to give 900 million children on the planet a fully functional laptop for $250 a piece (excluding support)? The OLPC can do that at a profit.

Rob

I think it is counterproductive to work on this issue as a competitor to the OLPC project. The OLPC project is a little bit like the Apollo program, you can't have lockheed martin competing against boeing to send humans to the moon, you have to make them both work towards the same goal. Of course whoever achieves the best performance on delivering the different technologies required to build the Saturn rocket gets to win those bids. But it would have been impossible to get to the moon if there were two different programs competing. Unless you regard OLPC as the Soviet Union?

The only reasonable thing I would see Intel do, is to move all of its R&D towards helping the OLPC project. Design different types of XO computers why not, if you think "one size doesn't fit all", then let there be a few different XO hardwares out there. But the point of the XO project should also be that the hardware varies as little as possible, so that you've got ultra optimized software running on those, to consume as little power as possible and take as little storage space as possible. Getting rid of the bloatware requires that the the hardware specifications kind of are built around the same principles.

The XO project is kind of like an open standard, anyone may build the parts in it, other than perhaps CMO who has got 2-year exclusivity on the screen, isn't it how it is?

So why shouldn't Intel be able to provide a processor that performs better, costs less, uses less power or at least does all that equally to the AMD Geode in the XO-1? Simply have an Intel powered XO-1, why hasn't anyone thought of that before? And how about sharing the production of processors for the XO such as 50% each among AMD and Intel.

Why is it so important for Intel to compete so aggressively against XO in all of its target countries?

Nicholas Negroponte and Walter Bender say the XO's battery can last 15 to 23 hours in the black and white ebook mode. Does Intel agree with that? Or is Intel's argumentation that battery life isn't important, or that the next generation CES Classmate also will have just as good power consumption modes?

There are apparently fundamental differences between the two organizations and how you and I think. Fundamentally you think it’s counterproductive for Intel to work on a different offering because you think that’s bad for OLPC (and thus bad for all students). You think Intel should put all its R&D resources towards helping the OLPC project because competition does not help OLPC (and thus bad for all students because their government and schools are forced into buying other low cost notebooks). You think classmate PC is so inferior to XO and that’s bad because students should be using an innovative product such as XO (and thus bad for students to use classmate PC because they won’t learn as much as they should if they use XO).

I think multiple solutions are required to solve the education challenges in these emerging markets. I think there is another approach, a multi-faceted effort is required (as mentioned earlier… accessibility, connectivity, content and education).

At Intel, we don’t think the IT world will allow a single solution to dominant and help solve the challenges in these developing nations. In the open IT world, market forces will come to play (I don’t know how the space program works, but the ICT world is a crowded marketplace where even UN has little say on how ICT developments for emerging markets should be conducted).

In the next few years (or months) we think you are going to see a lot of low cost notebooks for emerging markets not only from Intel but from other PC ODMs (beyond Asus and Quanta; so possibly Clevo, Compal, Mitac, MSI), possibly branded/unbranded PC system vendors and even device manufacturers. Companies will not necessary be aligned to OLPC or Intel. FYI, Intel cannot stop them from producing these low cost notebooks to schools or to anyone who wants to buy them. I’m sure you already know that’s how the IT industry works.

There are lots of good and different ideas from other innovators who do not want to be tied down to OLPC, we’ve seen quite a few. Intel is always seeking to see how we can learn from them too and possibly to see if their ideas can solve unique challenges in schools. Spending all our resources on the OLPC project is not a viable option but hey I agree both organizations should be working towards our differences (Btw another small milestones achieved today: a group of 30 people from Intel and OLPC were huddling in a room today in Intel R&D campus discussing and working on some joint-work).

Intel and OLPC works differently. You like the way OLPC opens its design to the open community. Meanwhile, Intel keeps its technology close to its heart. But more importantly, we develop classmate PC not to beat XOs. So, it’s not about Intel having “beaten the cryptographic bios and image signing of the OLPC.” It’s not just about having longer battery life and readable screen. Sure these are important just as important as teachers’ training, ecosystem sustainability, just to name a few.

I never doubt the genuine cause of OLPC, but I also admire that Intel takes this as a serious business initiative. Only then can we put our muscles behind such initiative. And because this is a serious business for Intel, it does things differently than a non-profit organization would. It protects its investment, it looks long-term, it works on options, and it looks beyond the bits and bites of the product.

Now, I won’t make you happy if I don’t answer the questions you raised earlier. So, let me try my best to do some clarifications here:

Intel has never claimed it can “deliver on the promise to give 900 million children on the planet a fully functional laptop for $250 a piece (excluding support)?” Actually, I will like to know which Intel executive said this? We don’t think every 900 million children require a fully functional $250 laptop; these students may require a different form of computing/connectivity device at a different price range. And thus we believe there is a constant need to innovate and continue to provide value to our shareholders.

Do we sell classmate PCs at a loss to governments? No. However you are also probably aware that for a long time technology vendors (whether it’s Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Red Hat or others) typically have education purchase programs to help government purchase these technology solutions at a different pricing systems. I won’t go into the complexity of such programs but education is also an important business segment just as FSI is.

How many classmate PCs can be delivered at these cost (assuming you are referring to $250)? Orders of classmate PCs are taken directly by the manufacturer i.e. ECS. If they have the capacity, I’m sure they want to deliver 900 million of these at $250 (Intel will be very happy about it too). However, ECS can actually lower the cost if orders reach certain higher volume (cost charged by ECS gets lower for orders beyond 10,000 units). Is Intel affected negatively by these high volume orders? Absolutely not.

Is Intel competing (aggressively or otherwise) against XP in all its target countries? I am sure both organizations are. We are both passionate about our works and beliefs.

Will Intel develop a special processor for low-power and low-cost devices for OLPC and for other ultra mobile devices? I’m sure you’ve heard we are hard at work at these. The fact is Intel will continue to deliver good and better products.

Can the current or future classmate PC boasts of a battery life of 15-23 hours? Probably not. It’s truly amazing if a student can use its XO in a class environment with that type of battery life. Imagine the power savings too. Can the current or future classmate PCs work good under sun? Probably not. It’s truly amazing because some schools without a roof will need a device that can do that. XO probably is best for schools that require these types of devices and product features.

What is classmate PC good for then? For other things… for governments who look for a sustainable comprehensive educational and ecosystems program, for schools who require more teachers-students interaction, for students who wants a good notebook that meets their day-to-day learning needs…

Celebrate the differences; they are here to stay.

OLPCNews is intelligent and unbiased? You got me, the only two articles I read and I never saw either of those in them.

"Charbax's irrational hatred of all things Microsoft/Intel, coupled with his continuos hallucinations, takes a lot of credibility away from OLPCNews as a source of intelligent, unbiased information on the XO."

I doubt Charbax is against Microsoft/Intel except all of the effort they put into stifling things open source (i.e., no money for them)...such as Microsoft's supporting SCO's extraordinarily well-founded claims against all of Linux. oops, am I not supposed to let people know that?

Intel's out of the OLPC game now, anyway.

Intel PR wrote:
"Do we sell classmate PCs at a loss to governments? No."

Now this is real news. Can you back this up with a legally binding quote from a identified Intel spokesperson? And then including "Marketting Support" and other sideline help?

The same for the unlimited quantity delivery?

Because if Intel does sell them at a loss, they break the law, WTO treaties and are guilty of abuse of monopoly status. All three can have dire consequences.

Winter

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