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

Jeffrey Kesselman jeffpk at gmail.com
Fri May 16 17:44:26 EDT 2008

SO, let me clarify my own POV... if anyone cares :)

XP on the OLPC does not bother me so much, for all the reasons
mentioned.  As long as it
DOES still run Linux/Sugar then its up to us to make that compelling.
I'm sure no third world country WANTS to spend another $7.00 a machine
if there is no compelling reason to do so.  Multiplied by volume,
thats a lot of money.

In addition to all of the above , I do see a comfort factor in the "it
can run windows" bullet point.  I mean we all mean well, but what if
the project fails and developers drift away?  There is a certain
comfort for buying it in knowing that there is a big rich company
behidn it.   Even if that comfort is mostly illusory. (Microsoft HAS
walked away from products in the past.  Anyone else own a first gen
WINCE device? I do.  Nice paperweight.)

What disturbs me a LOT more is Sugar  on  XP.  I firmly expect
Micrsoft to attempt to "embrace and extend" and pull control of Sugar
away from the community.  After which, it will die a quick death.


On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 5:19 PM, Robert Myers <rmyers7 at mindspring.com> wrote:
> 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.
> Bob
> -------- 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>
> Walter,
> 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
> Bob
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