OLPC has no commercialization plans—for now


— 12:01 AM on January 15, 2007

Bad new for users looking to eventually purchase an XO notebook from the One Laptop Per Child project. Last week, BBC News quoted OLPC chief connectivity officer Michalis Bletsas as saying the laptop would be available to the general public next year for double its normal price, and that the OLPC project was discussing a potential supply agreement with eBay. However, the OLPC folk have now put out a press release that disavows those statements:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization with the goal of providing children in developing nations with laptop computers, today announced that contrary to previously published reports OLPC has no plans to make the XO laptops available for sale to the general public. OLPC’s focus is getting XO laptops into the hands of children in developing nations. Currently, official OLPC launch countries include Libya, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uruguay.
That said, the press release does quote OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte as saying "many commercial ventures have been considered and proposed that may surface in 2008 or beyond." One of the ventures is the "buy 2 and get 1" scheme mentioned by Bletsas last week. Thanks to The Register for the tip.
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