Yaba Yaba

what? another blog? you must be joking.

interesting times in low-cost land

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With Walter Bender’s resignation from OLPC and Microsoft’s announcement the low cost scene is becoming the best show in town.

Open source is about freedom of choice and ownership. If people are free to choose, they are also free to make bad choices – such as running windows on their nice little low cost laptop.

The other side of the equation is, of course, they should be free to run the copy of OS they bought on any hardware they choose. To be honest, I’m not worried: a) I doubt it will hold in court. b) even if it will, it won’t hold in real life. Vendors will simply make it easy to upgrade machines after purchase. The only snag is the touch screen.

But the main scoop here shouldn’t be lost in the flurry of gossip: OLPC won. Remember Negraponte and Papert’s original claim? For years, computers have been getting more expensive when they should have been moving in the opposite direction. This was driven by producer agenda, not by user’s needs. If we want children worldwide to be a part of the global conversation and have access to the canon of human knowledge, we need to reverse the trend. When OLPC started is was a crazy dream. Now its a thriving market. And the more competition, the more options, the more flavours of hardware and software – the better for all.


Written by yishaym

May 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm

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