One Laptop per Child Foundation Cuts Staff, Refocuses Mission

OLPC Faces Tough Economic Times

by Anton Shilov
01/07/2009 | 11:08 PM

One Laptop per Child non-profit organization has issued a statement that indicates plans to reduce staff count by 50%, cut salary for the remaining personnel and discontinue certain operations. The organization still believes it will be able to create next-generation ultra-cheap laptop for developing countries and also kick-off certain initiatives to boost computerization of developing nations.

 

From now on, OLPC will focus on development of the second generation XO laptop, creation of a million of digital books, a no-cost connectivity program as well as passing the development of the Sugar operating system to the community.

“Like many other nonprofits that are facing tough economic times, One Laptop per Child must downsize in order to keep costs in line with fewer financial resources. Today we are reducing our team by approximately 50% and there will be salary reductions for the remaining 32 people. While we are saddened by this development, we remain firmly committed to our mission of getting laptops to children in developing countries,” said Nicholas Negroponte, the head of OLPC.

According to Mr. Negroponte, approximately 500 thousand children worldwide already own OLPC XO-1 laptops. The organization will not only continue to work with governments to deploy the inexpensive XO-1 notebooks, but will also create a program under which the least developed countries will get such systems for free.

Current OLPC XO laptop features AMD Geode LX-700 processor with 433MHz clock-speed and built-in graphics controller, 256MB of PC-2700 (DDR 333MHz) memory, 1GB NAND flash that substitutes hard disk drive, 7.5” screen with 1200x900 resolution, wireless and wired network adapters as well as integrated webcam, microphone, speakers and so on.