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OLPC Fiasco Take 2.0

By on Mar 28, 2009 in Food For Thought | 5 comments

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Guest blogged by Anuj on May 21, 2008.

OLPC XO-2 - First Look
Creative Commons License photo credit: curiouslee
Negroponte has released a new version of the OLPC laptop called the XO-2 which not so surprisingly has multi-touch, and it runs Windows. Moreover the price tag reads around $188. I have just two questions; what if a child rams something sharp like a pen into the screen? Even if it doesn’t fail in the field then how is multi-touch going to help those kids? Anyway if you leave the details aside and look at it from another point of view it looks so cool, but then again do the children need cool technology?

Just asking. I wish I had the money to do something about this, seriously stop messing with innocent children’s lives.


  1. Seth

    March 28, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Sorry, but there are a few corrections to your post:

    The XO-2 hasn’t been developed yet, and wont be out for at least 18 months.

    The XO-2 will very likely be an ARM processor and therefor wont run windows or windows software.

    And lastly, your photo from DC photographer Mike Lee, is of two iPhones, not of any of the XO-2 prototypes.

  2. Ankur

    March 28, 2009

    Post a Reply

    I, for one, don’t see the XO changing any lives. The target audience has more important things to worry about than a cool new piece of technology. The people who *could* have been Negroponte’s biggest customers (that’s us!) have to give one to get one. No thank you, Mr. Sunshine. I’d rather not have one at all.

    • Ankur

      March 28, 2009

      Post a Reply

      But the children themselves aren’t paying for it, the government does. Yes, it might be unrealistic to have personal ownership because then each new batch needs a laptop. But if a newer approach is used where there’s 5-6 laptops per classroom (property of the school) then I think the OLPC project can be far more useful and actually make an impact!

  3. The $188 price is for the current XO-1. The expected price for the XOXO is $75. The point of giving a laptop to each child is that they have it all the time, including for doing homework. When the laptops are on at home, students can connect to each other to work on common projects. This is reportedly having significant social impact. For example,

    The XOXO with Free Digital Textbooks will be less expensive than printed textbooks, but will offer far more than one book per course ever can.

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