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Intel's OLPC moves blighted by the old paranoia

Comment Stupid, destructive and all together wrong
Fri Jan 04 2008, 11:11

DEAR INTEL,

Please stop playing stupid power games with OLPC, you are only hurting those in need. It is borderline disgusting to see your little tantrums hurt those who can't defend themselves. Just shut up, put your heads down and do better.

Your quitting of OLPC in a huff is downright stupid. I have used both the Classmate and the OLPC, and from just about every way I view it, the OLPC is a clear winner. This is not to say that a lot of Intel engineers didn't do well with Classmate - and all of those I talk to believe in the mission - but you are slapping them in the face by using them as a weapon.

The OLPC project is not about raking in money or cut-throat competition, it is about getting those without connectivity an entry into the digital world. It is about empowering those without power. It is a non-profit for a reason. Didn't you get this?

By pushing the Classmate, you are doing everything that you should not do. You are dividing a market that needs no division and you look like childish, tantrum-throwing bullies. I know you are better than this, you demonstrate that every day in dozens of markets, so why not this one as well?

What it comes down to is that the OLPC is designed from the ground up to suit its purpose. Classmate is a castrated Windows box that barely gets out of its own way in the best of times. The grand total of its educational abilities can be summed up as: "Load some Windows software if there is any room left on the drive". The OLPC has a 'show source' button for a reason.

In the end, you are taking a knife into a gunfight. The OLPC is made for communications, you took a low-end laptop and removed features until it just about collapsed. Mesh networking? What XP SP is that in again? Classmate comes up woefully short unless you are a bean counter in a cube looking at a spec sheet with a western mindset. This is the wrong way to do things.

What you need to do is overcome your critics, both internal and external, by doing a better job for those in need. If you want to win markets, now and in the future, make a cheaper motherboard, or give it better networking features for the same price. In words I used earlier, shut up and do a better job. Stop being divisive and just do it.

In the end, if you continue on your current path, you will be known as the company that is more interested in marketing a half-baked box with all the cuddliness of a Vistagami tablet than helping people. AMD has the high ground here, and you only have yourselves to blame. Stop the stupidity and get back to work. µ

 

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