One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization that develops notebooks for children in developing countries said on Friday that support from Intel Corp. was not substantial and that its extraction from the board of directors would have no impact on the future of low-cost computers for the poor.
“We never really got much going with Intel to have an impact,” said Walter Bender, president of OLPC organization, in an interview with IDG News Services.
After Intel joined the organization in July last year, it initiated development of a low-cost next-generation notebook for OLPC. However, the actual price of the device appeared to be even higher than that of the currently available XO, said Mr. Bender. The executive for OLPC did not reveal whether Intel’s machine was more powerful that the one currently shipping.
“They developed something that, as far as I know, is more expensive and more power-hungry than our current offering, so I'm not quite sure what the point is,” Mr. Bender is reported to have said.
Additionally, Mr. Bender accused Intel of using its OLPC membership for promotion purposes while being not interested in working with the organization on software projects.
“My expectation was that there’s lots of room for cooperation, particularly on software ... [but] I couldn’t get Intel interested in helping me with any of those problems… The only thing they were interested in was helping them make marketing statements about how Intel’s approach to learning was different from OLPC’s approach to learning. They weren’t interested in how we can learn together and make something better for kids,” Mr. Bender reportedly claimed.
Mr. Bended did not confirm whether OLPC demanded Intel to stop promoting its Classmate PC concept as well as supporting other projects with chips for low-end personal computers. However, an unnamed source close to Intel reportedly admitted this and said that the world’s largest maker of chips contributed about $6 million to OLPC.