So it looks like the revolutionary “One Laptop Per Child” XO computer is finally going to make its way into the hands of general consumers on a grand scale. And as it happens, the behemoth retailer Amazon.com will be delivering the device and managing the much-discussed G1G1 program, where consumers will purchase one device for personal use, while the other unit is donated to a child in need.
This seems like a match made in heaven given the disappointing turn of events during the last G1G1 disbursement, where things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.
“Many things in the last G1G1 did not run as smoothly as we would have hoped,” Negroponte said. “Those things, mostly related to fulfillment, by their nature, are what Amazon can fix.”
The Boston Globe reported Friday that OLPC founder and chairman Nicholas Negroponte confirmed the new G1G1 arrangement with Amazon but declined to give further details.
“Amazon does not announce such things until the site is ready,” said Negroponte. “That is the reason we are not talking about it.”
While still hush-hush, OLPC has indicated this year’s offering will be similar to last year’s when consumers could purchase two computers for a total of $399 and keep one while the second computer would be given to a needy child somewhere in the world.
In the meantime, commercial manufacturers, realizing that OLPC had pioneered a low-cost market largely in developing nations, have jumped into the market with their own inexpensive machines.
And if you haven’t heard, Microsoft has wiggled itself into this game. As of May of this year, an agreement between the computer giant and Negroponte resulted in the decision to put Windows XP on the machine in addition to Linux - for a nominal $3.
And yes, the XO has crept up way beyond its original target price of $100, but the foundation has been developing new designs that aim to lower the price to the $100 range.
NYT’s David Pogue shares his thoughts on the XO: