[Fwd: Re: XP on OLPC - a contrarian view]

Robert Myers rmyers7 at mindspring.com
Fri May 16 17:19:26 EDT 2008

I received Mr Bender's reply off list. I replied privately, as it came 
off list. I now see that Mr. Bender sent his reply to the list, so I'm 
forwarding my reply to him to the list too.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: XP on OLPC - a contrarian view
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 15:08:24 -0500
From: Robert Myers <rmyers7 at mindspring.com>
Reply-To: rmyers7 at mindspring.com
To: Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>
References: <482DB60B.5010103 at mindspring.com> 
<fd535e260805161240g7cd28c8fk6762cd25f616a001 at mail.gmail.com>


I didn't mean to minimize the successes that the XO has had to date.
Nicholas' projections were undeniably optimistic, and they shouldn't
color the perception of the success that has been achieved. 600k x $200
= $120M. That's incredible sales for a startup. Particularly a
shoestring, start from a new concept, non-profit, startup.

However, the sales and distribution model of OLPC has set itself a high
bar. Any single sales event that isn't in the six figure range is small
potatoes in the current model of monolithic sales to national governments.

And I'll stand with my assertion that if it takes saying that the XO
does Windows to get those big sales, and get the little darlings into
the hands of children, that it's a step that OLPC is correct in taking.

It is a great start, and I dearly want it to continue.

OLPC has certainly kickstarted a market that no one seemed to have
realized the existence of three years ago -- laptops designed to meet
the needs of children. The XO is a wonderful design and still the
benchmark that these devices should be measured by.

> There is an underlying assertion in your post (and much of the press
> coverage of the Windows XP announcement) that the XO has not been
> selling well to date. I would assert that 600K units in the first 6
> months is pretty good by most measures. It is a far cry from the 100M
> units that Nicholas predicted, but so what? It is a great start and
> there is every indication that laptop-for-learning programs on a
> variety of hardware platforms are springing up around the world--with
> or without Windows. To the extent that the community can work to make
> these programs successful, more children will be reached--our
> goal--and more laptops (XOs and others) will be sold.
> -walter

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