Sales of the olpc xo laptop for the Give One Get One holiday program came to 162,000—or 81,000 depending on how you do the math. Some 81,000 Americans bought the computers, allowing olpc to send another 81,000 to poor kids in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
I’m surprised at the low number of sales. The xo laptop, in so many ways, is perfect for US and European kids. Which is probably why so many designers love it.
This Fortune interview provides background into the controversy over Intel leaving the olpc project. The flashpoint was Peru, where olpc said Intel tried to badmouth the xo to the minister of education, who promptly told olpc. The minister of education believes in the self-instruction pedogogy for children inherent in the olpc philosophy. “Peru is really our star because they really understand constructionism,” says Negroponte.
Which is fine, if he finds it appropriate for the children of Peru.
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