Intel's Child Laptop Drama

The company resigns its OLPC board seat as a promised détente ends quickly.
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Such a big fight over such little computers.

On Thursday,

Intel

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announced it was resigning its seat on One Laptop Per Child's board of directors. Not much drama there. But the reason why it's doing so is very interesting.

One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop runs on a microprocessor made by Intel's rival

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. Because of that, Intel developed a rival mini-laptop for school children called the Classmate PC.

Last year, OLPC and Intel agreed to stop bad-mouthing each other's computers and join forces to further the development of low-cost laptops. At that point, Intel got a seat on OLPC's board. Everything was good. Both sides started talking about an Intel-based version of the OLPC. And OLPC was reportedly also talking to

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about an ARM processor version of the mini-laptop.

But the relationship quickly went downhill from there. According to published reports, OLPC's founder and guru, Nicholas Negroponte, began saying that Intel had to stop making the Classmate PC, while Intel was saying it wasn't prepared to kill the project. At one point, Negroponte accused Intel of dumping its Classmate PCs to keep OLPCs out of reach of children across the globe.

Officially, Intel confirms its exit from the One Laptop Per Child program. It has said that the OLPC board asked it to end support to all non-OLPC platforms and to instead focus exclusively on OLPC.

OLPC President Walter Bender says there was a complete breakdown in his company's relationship with Intel because of a complete lack of cooperation.

OLPC's "Give One, Get One" program ended in December. Now, for a $200 donation, OLPC will deliver an XO computer to a needy child.

One Laptop Per Child Not for Grown-Ups

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With 34 years experience as a journalist -- the last 27 with NBC -- Gary Krakow has seen all the best and worst technology that's come along. Gary joined MSNBC.com before it actually went online in July 1996. He produced and anchored the first live Webcast of a presidential election in November 1996. With a background as a gadget freak, audiophile and ham radio operator, Krakow started writing reviews for both Audio and Stereophile Magazines in the 80s. Once at MSNBC.com, Krakow started writing a column to help feed his personal passion for playing with gadgets of all types, shapes and sizes. Within a short time, that column became a major force in many electronics industries -- audio, video, photography, GPS and cell phones. Readership soared, and manufacturers told him they had actual proof that a positive review in his column sold thousands of their products. Many electronics manufacturers have used quotes from his reviews in their sales literature as well as on their Web sites. There have also been a few awards too, including Emmys in the 70s, 80s and 90s.