Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce OLPC: following in the steps of Microsoft

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Subscribe now and get the news that matter to your industry.

* Your Email Address:
* First Name:
* Last Name:
Job Function:
Australian State:
Email marketing by Interspire
weebly statistics
When Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the One Laptop Per Child project, said two months ago that the project needed to be managed "more like Microsoft" he was speaking nothing but the truth.

The OLPC was set up, initially, to provide laptops as educational tools to children in developing countries. But the shine has all gone from the project now, due to poor take-up, an unseemly row with Intel and infighting that has led to top people quitting. There is also a patent infringement lawsuit over the keyboard.

Add to that the deviation from running free software to becoming a repository for Windows XP (and all the scumware, spyware and malware that live on that venerable operating system) and Negroponte's halo has all but gone.

When Microsoft's new operating system Vista turned out to be a spectacular failure, the company tried to turn people's attention to its next operating system, Windows 7. It's still spinning that tale.

The OLPC has followed a similar path. Negroponte is now trying to turn people's attention to the next of his laptops, what he calls the XO-2. The first laptop, called the XO, was supposed to be sold for $US100 and ended up being sold for $US188.

Now, Negroponte says, his target price for the next laptop is $US75. That is, if the project is still alive in 2010, which is when he says this new gadget will arrive.

This is an old strategy which spinmeisters have used since I was knee-high to a grasshopper - nothing to see here (where the spectacular failure resides), move along (to the area where our next concept resides).

He's pretty good at this sleight of hand stuff, Monsieur Negroponte. He seems to grab this kind of stuff literally out of thin air.

Few details have been provided about the new gadget which, from pictures available at the Laptop website has dual touch screens and appears to be much smaller than the XO.

But given what you can do with graphics software these days, I wouldn't lay much store by these pictures and the accompanying video - I've just finished watching the film Conspiracy in which Val Kilmer appears as a marine with one leg.


Don't let traffic bottlenecks slow your network or business-critical apps to a grinding halt. With SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack (BAP) you can gain unified network availability, performance, bandwidth, and traffic monitoring together in a single pane of glass.

With SolarWinds BAP, you'll be able to:

• Detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues

• Track response time, availability, and uptime of routers, switches, and other SNMP-enabled devices

• Monitor and analyze network bandwidth performance and traffic patterns.

• Identify bandwidth hogs and see which applications are using the most bandwidth

• Graphically display performance metrics in real time via dynamic interactive maps

Download FREE 30 Day Trial!



Where are your clients backing up to right now?

Is your DR strategy as advanced as the rest of your service portfolio?

What areas of your business could be improved if you outsourced your backups to a trusted source?

Read the industry whitepaper and discover where to turn to for managed backup


Sam Varghese

website statistics

A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.