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And This Surprises Who?

File this under business as usual: ‘$100 laptop’ sparks war of words

Chip-maker Intel “should be ashamed of itself” for efforts to undermine the $100 laptop initiative, according to its founder Nicholas Negroponte.

He accused Intel of selling its own cut-price laptop – the Classmate – below cost to drive him out of markets.

Professor Negroponte, who aims to distribute millions of laptops to kids in developing countries, said Intel had hurt his mission “enormously”.

Nick, you knew what kind of people you were dealing with going in, so you should stop complaining that “water is wet”. Based on price you decided to use AMD processors in your machine. Intel didn’t see the market until you created it, so they didn’t give you a realistic bid. Now that the market exists, they are going after it to destroy you and your effort. You work in the field; you should know what a cut-throat SOB Intel is.

After you’re gone they will spike the price and make their profits. You are a competitor so you have to be crushed. It’s not about priorities, it’s about profit margin and market share.


1 ellroon { 05.21.07 at 3:41 pm }

Saw the 60 Minutes article on the laptops last night. Crap. It was nice while it lasted….

2 whig { 05.21.07 at 8:15 pm }

I understand that Karl Rove owns a sizable investment in Intel.

3 Bryan { 05.21.07 at 9:32 pm }

It may survive, Ellroon, but Intel has the corporate connections to the lobbyists in a lot of the third world so the fact that their system is twice what Dr. Negroponte is offering isn’t the advantage it should be.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised, but he wouldn’t have bought it until after the shift from the founders to “professional managers”. It’s sad when a technology business becomes a business that involves technology. I don’t doubt for a second that Intel will take some kind of tax write off for their machine.

4 oldwhitelady { 05.23.07 at 12:10 am }

Aw, drat!

5 Steve Bates { 05.23.07 at 1:05 am }

While I have no philosophical objection to OLPC, I’ve always thought it to be a fantasy (one in which Newt Gingrich indulged, if I recall). Nicholas Negroponte may not be as naive as Newt, but if he thinks slamming Intel in a public statement will help his own cause, he is mistaken. A genuine visionary would have found a way to co-opt Intel into the cause.

Personally, I doubt a $100 laptop is at the top of the list of things a poor third-world child needs most. But I may be wrong.

6 Bryan { 05.23.07 at 12:58 pm }

OWL, like Steve, I think that clean drinking water should be a higher priority that laptops for kids. Poor countries have limited resources, and those resources should be used for live and death issues, not live-style issues.