Jumat, 04 Januari 2008

Intel severs alliance with One Laptop Per Child (AFP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Computer chip giant Intel said Friday it has severed its alliance with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative aimed at getting computers into the hands of children in developing countries.

Intel said it parted ways with OLPC after the non-profit group insisted the US firm abandon its own low-cost laptop, the Classmate PC.

"We are still very much in alignment with the mission and objective of OLPC," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told AFP.

"We wish them well but because of a philosophical impasse we left their board of directors."

OLPC downplayed Intels importance to the coalition of firms devoted to the organizations mission and accuses Intel of violating a pact.

"We at OLPC have been disappointed that Intel did not deliver on any of the promises they made when they joined OLPC," OLPC said in a written statement.

"While we were hopeful for a positive, collaborative relationship, it never materialized."

Intel maintains that it honored all of its promises to OLPC and recently completed a prototype laptop based on its computer chips.

The fallout between Intel and OLPC is due to a demand that the chip maker commit itself exclusively to the organizations XO laptops, according to Mulloy.

Intel has licensed technology to a Taiwan company that makes Classmate PC laptops, which compete with OLPCs offering in the low-cost arena.

It is estimated that a billion affordable laptops are needed by children and teachers in poor and developing countries and Intel maintains that the goal will best be met by multiple marketplace offerings.

"For years we have said there is no single solution," Mulloy said.

"We agree with OLPC that the need is tremendous. The difference is how to deal with that need. It is not one size fits all. Our Classmate PC is an option and we think others will emerge this year."

Intel says that tens of thousands of Classmate PCs costing nearly 300 dollars each have been sold.

OLPC says it has sold approximately 300,000 XO laptops, priced at 188 dollars each and powered with chips from Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices.

OLPC accuses Intel of not working cooperatively on software development and coming up with an XO laptop design that was an expensive electricity guzzler.

"We view the children as a mission," OLPC said in its statement. "Intel views them as a market."

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