Saturday, January 31, 2009

Latest OLPC: $75 AND Open Source (per Negroponte)

The One Laptop Per Child organization at MIT says the next generation of the XO, the XO-2, might sell for $75 and anyone is free to copy it and make it. Negroponte wants YOU to have one.

Here's the big news. Nicolas Negroponte: "One important thing about the XO-2 is that we're going to do it as an open-source hardware program. The XO-1 was really designed as if we were Apple. The XO-2 will be designed as if we were Google - we'll want people to copy it. We'll make the constituent parts available. We'll try and get it out there using the exact opposite approach that we did with the XO-1."

Guardian Newspaper (UK): The other interesting thing about the XO-2 is that it looks like something western consumers would buy as an ebook reader, and there's potentially a mass market at the target $75 price. Or somebody like Asus or Acer could make them, without paying OLPC a royalty. A project that was started to help children in the developing world could end up helping children in the west as well. "I wouldn't complain," he [Negroponte] says.

Negroponte says the system will dual-boot -- Windows and Linux -- because some governments and product-specifiers expect Windows, but there is no requirement ever to boot up Windows. There has been a bit of a backlash, the Guardian reporter pointed out. "Yes, but that's the Linux fundamentalists," Negroponte said. "What they're missing is that this is the best way to get Linux into the field."

Read the Guardian article:

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