Last night, Intel pulled out of OLPC, citing founder Nicholas Negroponte's serious jealousy issues with other low-cost computers stealing XO's thunder in more ways than one. Today, OLPC slaps back, claws out: "We're totally better off without you since it was all for show and you never really loved us (or the kids) in the first place!"
OLPC prez Walter Bender said that Intel's efforts to build an XO Laptop with one of its chips were "seemingly half-hearted" and that its brass was more interested in OLPC for PR reasons:
"The only thing they were interested in was ... helping them make marketing statements about how Intel's approach to learning was different from OLPC's approach to learning," Bender said. "They weren't interested in how we can learn together and make something better for kids."
That's pretty douche-y if it's true. OLPC has been a mess on the business end and Negroponte seems a bit frazzled, but at least they have actual good intentions.
On the other hand, the market being flooded with ton of cheap laptops (which might be better than XO) for developing countries ultimately goes toward OLPC's goal to bring computers to everyone, so it's a bit off to say it is the One True Way, even if Intel really is a child-hating, PR-feeding douche. That said, we hope OLPC gets its act together soon. The only thing worse than a train wreck is one carrying the hopes and dreams of millions of children. Or something like that. [CW]