The OLPC [One Laptop Per Child] organization is obviously not familiar with dealing with corporate America. This became obvious when what appeared to be a sweetheart deal fell apart. Seems that OLPC was hoping that Intel, out of the goodness of their heart, would not only supply Intel processors to the project but would also consider dropping their own Classmate PC project as well. OLPC also thought that by placing an Intel member on their board of directors that the processor giant would take a softer position and see the wisdom in supporting a worth while project.

As I have previously written, the OLPC is going to have to battle the Win-Tel alliance in order to bring their low cost computer to the world’s poor. Though OLPC may have thought that Microsoft and Intel could be active partners in the program, past histories of both these companies shows they usually don’t play well with others. It would seem that the OLPC hasn’t even felt the full force of the Win-Tel alliance as of yet. I’m sure they will find that in 2008 their worthy cause may be foiled by behind the scene deals in which price cuts will undermine their efforts.

So where is that going to leave the OLPC computer? The original goal was to have a system priced at $100. Now that the system is approaching the $200 price range, the unit may end up being to pricey for some 3rd world countries. A company like Intel could actually sell units at a loss just to gain market share. Both Microsoft and Intel realize that this is going to be a lucrative market in the future. If the two companies [Microsoft & Intel]  join forces, the OLPC project could be doomed.

What do you think? Will the OLPC organization be able to survive?

Comments welcome.

[tags]olpc, microsoft, intel, computers, software, countries, 3rd world, [/tags]