[Olpc-open] Why is G1G1 program ending?

Charbax charbax at charbax.com
Fri Dec 28 16:35:02 EST 2007

I think OLPC probably prefers that schools in the USA start buying them in
large bulk quantities (as in Birmingham Alabama) and that every child in the
US also gets the laptop. G1G1 is nice, but the numbers are still much too
small for OLPC to be able to push the manufacturing price down, so the point
of G1G1 probably has been one of convincing the last sceptics that the
project is a worthy one.

The point is to get the momentum going during these first weeks of initial
deployments in Uruguay, Peru, G1G1, Alabama and the target should be to make
a positive impression on everyone involved in those initial deployments so
everyone will understand the need to invest big time in making OLPC work.

There could also be a commercial hardware I think sold in stores such as in
WalMart, but that requires that a company like WalMart is ready to invest in
doing the necessary R&D, Marketing, distribution on a commercial version of
it, which probably shouldn't be made of the same hardware. This hardware of
the XO is designed so that every child gets it through the governments and
through the schools. Definition of "commercial" is the opposite of that.
"Commercial" means only some people can buy it, so it should probably also
be suited for example for adults and businesses just as every other laptop
is today (larger sized keyboard, business design, larger screen,
HSDPA/WiMax). So I'd probably see an adult version sold for $300 in WalMart,
Aldi and other supermarket chains. Cause only by cutting out all expenses
for marketing, distribution and other middlemen can such price be achieved
as a commercial product without there being a loss.

Quanta did say, under the previous CEO, that they were going to make a
commercial version of the XO and sell it for $200, I don't know if they have
advanced on that project since, or if other companies are working on this,
I'm sure they are. The XO hardware is supposed to be open-source, prehaps
some patent royalties can provide OLPC with more funding, so I would guess
the point is that any company who is interested may come and copy the whole
thing to release it to more schools and more governments or to release it
commercially if they want.

So instead of "Give 1, Get 1", it will be "Get 1 commercial open-source
super $300 laptop, and $50 goes to the OLPC project in patent royalties or
in a coorporate donation".

Nicolas Charbonnier
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