It’s not possible for a commercial entity to “compete” with OLPC. When we see laptops [Classmate PC] that are being sold for $230 or $200 and we scratch deeper and we find that that’s promise if they order several million 3 years from now. Because otherwise it would be sheer dumping. You can’t make it for that price. So what we find ourselves doing ironically and it has slowed us down but not very much, is competing on laptops. And that’s what is a shame. The number 300,000 is what we are building by the end of this year, and we just started building last week, that still multiplies to several million machines next year without even counting on significant growth.
By analogy: If I were the world food program and I were in a remote village serving food to the children at school and McDonalds sets up something into that village, McDonalds might view the world food program as a competitor but the world food program does not view mcdonalds as a competitor. And that’s the situation I’m in. And if McDonalds can serve the whole village then the world food program would actually retreat. And I don’t have any needs to sell laptops, I just want to make sure that the children get them. The problem is, and let me use some of the specific machines on the market, they don’t even come close. We do indeed have a crank in contrary to the Wall Street Journal’s story and we can crank the laptops, we distribute the crank with the laptops and you can run it on human power, you don’t need to plug it in, a solar panel smaller than a normal piece of paper can also drive it. The sunlight readable display of this laptop is very important cause kids use it outdoors and you can use it in that mode for 23 hours on one battery charge. There is the mesh network that allows them all to communicate to each other and at very low cost you connect one child to the Internet and a thousand are connected. Those are very important features. We don’t do side by side comparisons at OLPC, but if you did them, the other machines don’t even come close. Not even close. So we still have to keep doing what we are doing, and weather it is to get people to copy what we are doing, help people copy it, everything that we do is open source, everything we do is made available for others to copy.
Listen in the Real Audio format (Nicholas Negroponte starts at 5 minutes 10 seconds in)
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