John

“Nicholas wants to ship plain XP desktops”-There Goes The OLPC Altruism

In News on May 18, 2008 at 6:08 am

Nicholas Negroponte, the man behind the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) has come under a lot of flak of late, with many wondering if the initiatives of the project to spread computer literacy throughout the world are being sidetracked for more commercial purposes. The former security director of the project, Ivan Krstić, blew the cover on the OLPC’s hidden agenda in a statement that was picked up by The Register.

Here’s an excerpt of Ivan’s essay from The Register:

The former security director of the One Laptop Per Child non-profit has blasted the project for losing sight of its goals, accusing chairman Nicholas Negroponte of deceiving the public. It’s all about shipping kit, says Ivan Krstić in an incendiary essay.

“I quit when Nicholas told me — and not just me — that learning was never part of the mission. The mission was, in his mind, always getting as many laptops as possible out there; to say anything about learning would be presumptuous, and so he doesn’t want OLPC to have a software team, a hardware team, or a deployment team going forward,” writes Krstić.

“Nicholas’ new OLPC is dropping those pesky education goals from the mission and turning itself into a 50-person nonprofit laptop manufacturer, competing with Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus, HP and Intel on their home turf, and by using the one strategy we know doesn’t work.”

“In reality, Nicholas wants to ship plain XP desktops. He’s told me so. That he might possibly fund a Sugar effort to the side and pay lip service to the notion of its ‘availability’ as an option to purchasing countries is at best a tepid effort to avert a PR disaster.”

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