updated 09:00 am EST, Fri January 4, 2008
Intel Quits OLPC Project
The One Laptop Per Child project has revealed that Intel has resigned its position from the non-profit group, ending any further teamwork on future projects. Although it had only joined the group in July, the company has been forced out of the group over its refusal to abandon projects that would directly compete with the XO notebook, which forms the backbone of the OLPC team's efforts. Systems like the Classmate PC are considered unacceptable by OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte both because they may take sales from the OLPC and because they use software other than the XO's custom Linux interface, Intel claims. The Classmate normally uses either a standard version of Linux or Windows XP.
The OLPC team has countered by arguing that it has had little to gain from Intel's collaboration so far. The chipmaker's designs so far have been "half-hearted" and largely a PR maneuver rather than a sincere effort, OLPC president Walter Bender says.
"My expectation was that there's lots of room for cooperation, particularly on software," he adds. "[But] I couldn't get Intel interested in helping me with any of those problems."
Although an Intel-based OLPC is known to have been in the works, this will come to a halt if Intel's departure is permanent, the processor builder says. Part of its rivalry with the OLPC team has been the latter's choice of Geode CPUs from AMD as the core of the XO, potentially damaging Intel's efforts with the Classmate.