The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) has announced they are launching OLPC America and will be offering Nicholas Negroponte’s “$100 laptop” to needy students here in the United States. Negroponte stated the reasoning for launching the laptops, which were originally intended for children in developing nations, in the U.S. is party due to building “critical mass” and getting some more momentum and production volume going. He also said the goal was to proved education for U.S. children, communication with kids in other countries. “To have the United Sates be the only country that’s not in the OLPC agenda would be kind of ridiculous,” Negroponte said.
The OLPC has been in the news quite a bit over this past year. The original goal was to provide a $100 laptop for children in poor, developing countries, helping their education, communication and understanding of current technologies. The program has met a number of “bumps” along the way, mostly with the production numbers. In order to obtain a $100 price tag Negroponte needed to have large orders of the XO laptop, targeting the governments of many developing countries. To date the orders from these countries have been limited and have kept the price well above the $100 mark. The OLPC has also be working with partners such as Microsoft with rumors of a dual-boot system that would be able to run Windows which has not yet come to fruition. They also had partnered with Intel on development of the XO, in which Intel has recently withdrawn.