I have written several articles about how OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) is doing a great job in its attempt to introduce computer systems at a reasonable price to the children in countries that are less fortunate than us. The OLPC project has gone from an idea penciled on paper to what now appears will be a full working model. You may also recall that the OLPC systems will be using AMD chips and also a form of Linux for the operating system.

Out of the clear blue, Intel and Microsoft appear on the horizon. Intel touted its Classmate Computers and Microsoft was looking at making the OLPC computers more Windows friendly. As rumors crisscrossed around the Internet, it appeared that the mega technology giants wanted a piece of the pie.

Picture this. A disaster happens – any disaster. The American Red Cross, depending on donations, is able to offer the victims of the disaster one blanket per person. In steps Billy Big Bucks, who offers two blankets per person. Does that make the American Red Cross any less worthy of our support? Or does it makes us think of what Billy Big Bucks has on his agenda?

The reason I bring this up is that I have read several disturbing comments that suggest that Intel’s offering of its Classmate computer has nothing to do with peace on earth and goodwill towards all men. The allegations are that it wants to dump thousands of its boxes for 1/2 their cost to certain countries to try and steal the business away from OLPC. The theory is that once these unsuspecting governments see what a fine product Intel has, they will want to buy more at the real cost of $400 a unit.

Heh, Intel! Why don’t you just give the computers away for free? Its not like you can’t afford to do so. Plus, you would get a nice tax writeoff. Heck, I’d even write about what a wonderful company you are for helping those kids. 🙂

What is your take? Are Intel and Microsoft trying to undermine the fine work of OLPC?

Comments welcome.

[tags]intel, microsoft, olpc, One Laptop Per Child[/tags]