The one laptop per child project has come into a bit of a problem. That problems name "Intel" the giant computer chip maker has anounced that it is to make a laptop for $200 (£100) in direct competition with the one laptop per child £100 laptop project.
The "one laptop per child" project was set up to help bring technology to developing countries by producing a rugged opensource laptop for a mere £100 ($200) which would mean governments could provide these to every child in school aiding learning and the countries economies.
Learn more about this and how to support them at www.laptop.org (note that although we too like the idea of a laptop for £100 they are not aiming to sell to people but countries as a whole, although in the future once production is ramped up they have rumoured they will be doing a buy one and donate one trial so keep an eye out).
Now the charity has come accross a problem, this problem is called Intel, the one laptop project unfortunately for them, uses AMD chips a direct rival to Intel, this has it would appear have the effect of putting their back up. Intel have anounced the laptop but missed out the part where they are actually selling the things for a LOSS. The only real reason anyone can see for doing this is to effectively knock One Laptops version out of the water.
Both Intel and Professor Negroponte's not for profit organisation, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), have developed a low cost, robust laptop aimed specifically at school children in the developing world.
There are various differences in both the hardware and software, but Professor Negroponte believes the main problem is that his machine uses a processor designed by Intel's main competitor, AMD.
"Intel and AMD fight viciously," he told CBS. "We're just sort of caught in the middle."
Professor Negroponte says Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments with titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach", which outline the supposedly stronger points of the Classmate.
Mr Barrett told CBS: "Someone at Intel was comparing the Classmate PC with another device being offered in the marketplace. That's the way our business works."
He dismissed claims that Intel was trying to put OLPC out of business as "crazy".
"There are lots of opportunities for us to work together," he said.
Professor Negroponte's project is currently in a critical phase.
Countries have until 31 May to place their orders for the first batch and will be able to purchase lots of 250,000.
They will initially cost $176 (£90) but the eventual aim is to sell the machine to governments of developing countries for $100 (£50).
Intel says it already has orders for "thousands" of Classmates, which currently cost over $200 (£100).Like the OLPC machine, Intel expects the price to eventually fall.
The only difference is last time we looked Intel WAS NOT A CHARITY. One laptop effectively is, yes they are a business but their only reason to exist at present is to help developing countries as Intel themselves have said by printing statements in their literature they see this as just another money spinner for themselves. Not a very charitable company you will agree.
We will have to see how this progresses but perhaps we should make our views known to intel and start supporting AMD.