'$100 laptop' sparks war of words

According to the $100 laptop initiative founder Nicholas Negroponte, Intel Corporation "should be ashamed of itself" for selling the "Classmate" below cost to drive him out of markets. Both Intel and Professor Negroponte's not for profit organisation, One Laptop per Child, have developed a low cost, robust laptop aimed specifically at school children in the developing world. Negroponte insists Intel had hurt his mission "enormously" only to have Intel's chairman Craig Barrett deny the claims: "We're not trying to drive him out of business. We're trying to bring capability to young people."

Professor Negroponte believes the main problem is that his machine uses a processor designed by Intel's main competitor, AMD. "Intel and AMD fight viciously. We're just sort of caught in the middle." Professor Negroponte says Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments with titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach", which outline the supposedly stronger points of the Classmate. Barrett retorted: "Someone at Intel was comparing the Classmate PC with another device being offered in the marketplace. That's the way our business works." He dismissed claims that Intel was trying to put OLPC out of business as "crazy". "There are lots of opportunities for us to work together."

Countries have until May 31 to place their orders for the first batch of the $176 (£90) laptops, but the eventual aim is to sell the machine to governments of developing countries for $100 (£50). Intel says it already has orders for "thousands" of Classmates, which currently cost over $200 (£100).

News source: BBC News

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