OLPC is not dead! Long live OLPC!

12 March, 2014


Check out OLPC XO-4.

I would hate to add to the speculation that OLPC is dead because it’s not.  Wayan Wota has been calling OLPC dead for 5 years. This is not news. He has not been involved with the project in a long time. His article is about the XO-1, apparently he doesn’t even know the XO-4 was officially introduced at this year’s CES, alongside the tablet.

If you really want to know what’s going on with current OLPC community projects see Adam Holt’s http://www.unleashkids.org/

Full OLPC Statement (from: http://gizmodo.com/one-laptop-per-child-isnt-quite-dead-yet-1541430670):

OLPC’s mission to empower the world’s children through education is far from over. OLPC is thriving and making more inroads at bringing education to those who can’t easily access it. OLPC recently formed a strategic alliance with the Zamora Teran family through many of their enterprises and their philanthropic foundation, the “Fundación Zamora Teran to deliver XO laptops not only to Central and South America, but also to Africa.

Aside from distributing more laptops in several schools in Costa Rica, Uruguay is receiving its first 50k units of the XO-4 Touch (running Android) in a few weeks’ time. In addition, the XO Tablet is currently available directly through governments and NGOs, as well as in Europe and Canada and through all major retail outlets in the United States including Walmart, Amazon, Toys ‘R Us among the others.

OLPC also has outsourced many of the software and development units because the organization is becoming more hardware and OS agnostic, concentrating on its core values – education. As an example, we’ve partnered with the Smithsonian Museum to bring feature-rich, interactive and more targeted content to our young learners.

We have more exciting things planned in the horizon including the implementation of very large scale projects in several regions of the world, so be sure to stay tuned.

OLPC is a concept, it is a movement, it is a community and it is about helping children.  Sure the grand vision may be delayed, but the benefits of education and technology, of improving the human condition is not dead.  We all knew that it’s not profitable to teach third world children.  Still,  no one thought that companies would compete against OLPC.  Countries opted for different technologies for hardware but never matched the promise or the vision of the software.  Had the world united around this platform children would have benefited and the world today would be a better place as we develop together and stamp out ignorance.  There is nothing like education to improve the world and that mission is not dead.  OLPC is evolving, finding new ways to reach more children, making more with less, and finding ways to make a real difference in the world.

Support OLPC!  Long Live the vision.

6 Responses to “OLPC is not dead! Long live OLPC!”

  1. Hilaire Says:

    I am afraid Etoys is out of this XO4

  2. Mark Miller Says:

    I was able to find the XO tablet on Amazon and Walmart’s online stores, but not at Toys ‘R Us. Maybe it’s only in their retail outlets, not online. I didn’t see the XO laptops anywhere. I’m guessing that the vision of kids learning through programming in the U.S. is out the window, like Hilaire was saying.

  3. Aren’t there 2 XO hardware options now: a laptop and a tablet? Options in the West also include Sugar-on-a-Stick (not dead either) http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick .

    • Mark Miller Says:


      Thanks for the reply. That helps clarify things. Yes, it looks like Sugar on a Stick is available in the U.S., since one can download an ISO image of the Sugar environment. I have not been able to find the XO laptop hardware in the U.S., though, just the tablet (with the operating environment based on Android). It’s possible to donate an XO laptop to another country, though.

      I guess the idea is that in the U.S. one can buy a laptop of one’s choice (whether it be a cheap or expensive model, probably with an OS already installed) and then run Sugar on that as an add-on.

  4. FWIW: The photo at the top of your piece shows a prototype of the XO-3 Tablet which was cancelled by OLPC in late 2012 (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO-3). The XO-4 has the regular notebook design and was introduced (whether formally or not depends on your definition) all the way back in mid-2012 and again at CES 2013. At this year’s CES OLPC simply made an announcement about it and 50,000 units going to Uruguay but the project has been out for a while.

  5. Hi Christoph, Thanks for pointing that out. Here is more info on xo-4: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO-4_Touch for those that are looking for specs.

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