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One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education, announced this week its product road map to deliver robust laptop performance and innovative design for use in the most remote, poor and rural communities and at the lowest power and cost in the industry.

“The first version of OLPC’s child-centric laptop, the XO, is a revolution in low-cost, low-power computing. The XO has been distributed to more than 1.4 million children in 35 countries and in 25 languages. To fulfill our mission of reaching 500 million children in all remote corners of the planet, OLPC will continue to innovate in design and performance. Because we are a non-profit, we hope that industry will copy us,” said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child.

The new versions of the XO laptop will be as follows:

  • XO 1.5 – The XO 1.5 is the same industrial design as the XO 1.0. Based on a Via Technologies’ processor (replacing AMD chip), it will provide two times higher performance, four times more RAM and four times more flash storage. It will run both the Linux and Windows operating systems. XO 1.5 will be available in January 2010 at about $200 per unit. The actual price floats in accordance with spot markets, particularly for those of DRAM and Flash, OLPC said.
  • XO 1.75 – The XO 1.75, to be available in early 2011, will be essentially the same industrial design but rubber-bumpered on the outside and in the inside will be an 8.9”, touch-sensitive display. The XO 1.75 will be based on an ARM processor from Marvell that will enable twice performance at 25% the power and is targeted at $150 or less. This ARM-based system will complement the x86-based XO 1.75, which will remain in production, giving deployments a choice of processor platform.
  • XO 3.0 – The XO 3.0 is a totally different approach, to be available in 2012 and at a target price well below $100. It will feature a new design using a single sheet of flexible plastic and will be unbreakable and without holes in it. The XO 3.0 will leapfrog the previously announced XO 2.0, a two-page approach that will not be continued. The inner workings of 3.0 will come from the more modest 1.75.

Even though OLPC XO 3 sports innovative design and promises to be very cheap, it has one drawback that can leave behind all its advantages: it cannot run Microsoft Windows operating system (OS). The whole world uses Windows and keyboard + mouse type of input, whereas XO 3 relies on a proprietary OS and touch-screen based input. As a result, skills that children get on the XO 3 will be irrelevant for further usage. Of course, children will still obtain a lot of general knowledge thanks to the Internet, still, they will not be able to do complex personal computer-based jobs.

Tags: OLPC, XO

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 12/27/09 09:53:02 AM
Latest comment: 01/26/10 07:07:43 PM

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1. 
"it has one drawback that can leave behind all its advantages: it cannot run Microsoft Windows operating system (OS)"

1) I dropped the BSD O/S a few years back (BTW - I have been in and around computers since the sixties, so, please don't think I am too much of a newbie)

2) Of the many reasons, security, functionality, but, mostly, their induced blow-ups and the time to fix them (not counting the ones I am responsible for... Heck... I tinker with it too).

3) The cost of using Microsoft would more than double the cost of the system (but, that is only a pittance if you wish to use costly software that is not necessary for kids, like all the unused stuff in the (for now, illegal) Word, for all the 'enhancement' they love to load for non-security, and all the overhead to needlessly thrash an ARM processor.)

4) Linux is not a proprietary, the last time I checked. And with Android, and a few other possibilities, you could thrash Windows silly, which even your article says it can be loaded with. (BUT WHY?!?!?)

5) The attitude that the world runs Windows, is changing... And the idea of not being able to run what is needed?? You have not been into Linux, Ubuntu or the real world, much, have you.

6) Since it comes with so much, runs so inexpensive (I avoided 'cheap'), and approaches more than the current idea of the Yuppy, GenX or whatever generation is going on now, and their 'latest toy of the minute' ideas, the slavish idea that 'ONLY REDMOND KNOWS WHAT IS NEEDED'... seems very short sighted. (And indeed, the knowledgeable youth and such, are using non-Windows in cell phones that are not windows, but are using other OSs... which, if they don't come with them, get hacked and installed.)

7) Most people don't need the power of Office type software. A simple text editor, or using Rich Text Format (both free) is what most need (Open Office also works, and is free). There are things, when you start getting fancy, like photo-editing (You don't Need $700 Photoshop. Besides the soon to be simpler to use Gimp, there are many other free photo editors, that for simple edits, are much quicker), Accounting (You DON'T need Microsoft's Excel) or any of a hundred other "You Gotta Have" Windows systems. There are proprietary packages and FOSS packages available to the whole world, at low and no cost that fully satisfy the needs of everyone, let alone the children this package is aimed at. Don't forget - most of the backbone of the internet is not running Windows!!!

8) I must say, with the statement you made about 'not running Windows'... You missed THE point. Not only don't the children NEED windows... With this they can grow up... NOT NEEDING IT... Unlike some who eat so frequently at the Microsoft invited only table, will not acknowledge. (I am not saying you are on that list... Which you know does exist, and probably know that those that are, never slam Redmond's output)
0 0 [Posted by: the old rang  | Date: 12/27/09 10:45:45 AM]
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2. 
Why would they EVER even consider running windoz is beyond me

oh right.............everyone uses windoz...............NOT
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 12/31/09 11:35:58 PM]
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3. 
Using a MAC OS simply would not help because Apple's main goal is to eat money! So I guess Windows OS would be a nice choice. Not everyone wants to use Linux. Besides in third world countries Linux is barely popular. Windows XP is still mainstream and it may remain for a long time.

The question is can Chrome OS change the scene? Maybe if Google makes it easy to implement.
0 0 [Posted by: PFX  | Date: 01/26/10 07:07:43 PM]
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