Friday, January 04, 2008

OLPC to Intel, We Will Not Miss Your Half Hearted Efforts

PC World is reporting on OLPC's reaction to Intel's decision to quit OLPC, One Laptop Per Child Initiative. It is widely believed that Intel decided to leave the OLPC after refusing a request to abandon its Classmate PC program, Intel Vesion of XO.

Intel's resignation from the One Laptop Per Child Project's board of directors will have "no impact" on the group's operations, since the chip maker contributed little to the project since joining last year, OLPC President Walter Bender said in an interview.

"We never really got much going with Intel to have an impact," Bender said.

Intel joined OLPC's board of directors in July as part of an agreement that seemed to bury the hatchet between OLPC and Intel's competing Classmate PC project. In addition to ending a war of words between Intel and OLPC, the two sides agreed to cooperate on technology development. Work also began on the development of a version of OLPC's XO laptop using an Intel processor instead of the AMD chip found in the current version.

But the partnership agreement ultimately yielded little, and Intel made a "seemingly half-hearted effort" to build a version of the XO based on one of its microprocessors, Bender said.

The development of an XO laptop based on an Intel processor was widely believed to rely on a version of Intel's upcoming Silverthorne processor, due out early this year. But the use of Silverthorne, billed by Intel as an inexpensive and power-efficient processor, was never confirmed by either Intel or OLPC, although Intel employees privately hinted at its use.

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