Say, what is that giant fizzling sound? It’s the air going out of Nicholas Negroponte’s ego balloon. Or maybe you didn’t notice. Deadline for countries to order their butt ugly one-hundred-dollar laptops was May 30. Deadline came and went and has anyone stepped up to order the first million units? See here. Worse yet, now others are coming forward to compete with this thing. Asus has a tiny machine coming out called the Eee PC at a $200 price point — that’s only $24 more than the OLPC machine which actually costs $176, not $100 as advertised. Intel has its “Classmate” machine and has been clever enough to design something that a local OEM can build, thereby creating jobs in the customer country. Some company in India is making a low-cost laptop too. Venezuela is making noise about designing its own rather than buying from the dreaded Yanqui imperialists. In Brazil, they’re holding a competition, pitting the OLPC machine against a bunch of others. But they’re only going to buy 150,000 units, not the 1 million per country that Negroponte first demanded. (He’s now backed down to 250,000 units.) Meanwhile, according to the OLPC wiki, Negroponte’s team is still fixing bugs, writing patches and trying to make the thing work. D’oh!
Can’t wait to hear how the freetards try to apologize their way out of this one. First they’ll blame Microsoft and Intel. Then they’ll say that even though it failed, it actually won, since it pushed all these other companies to create low-cost machines for kids. (Even though Negroponte, ever the altruist, does nothing but pee all over everyone else’s low-cost designs.)