Saturday, March 10, 2012

OLPC: My Lack of Activity May Change

I’d like to apologize to all my early readers and supporters. As you can see from this blog content I haven’t been involved with OLPC in many years.

I still have one of my two XO laptops on display in my office to remind me how important innovation is.  Occasionally, someone will ask me about the laptop and I’m proud to show it off.

So why did I drop out of the OLPC community? Well, I found a flaw in the initial premise of providing inexpensive laptops with Sugar running as the operating system.  While Sugar is awesome, it’s not Windows.

Sugar Interface

I decided that kids in poor countries were smarter than we thought.  They didn’t want a computer that seemed like a toy. They wanted a real computer which in even the farthest parts of the world meant, “Windows”.  The youngest users, in the most deprived communities knew about Windows and that’s what they expected.

As it turns out many innovations are ahead of their time. We’re currently witnessing a dramatic change in what we consider a smart device. The “personal computer” is no longer the only device that is available to meet our digital wants and needs.

It still may be to early to predict what OS products will survive the next decade but change is coming. I agree with many who think it’s ok for to change as well.

The most popular idea at this time would be a Droid based OLPC. According to news reports XO 3.0 running Droid will soon be available at the original $100 price. This may not be an instant hit but it’s certainly heading in the right direction. A Droid system shouldn’t be the only consideration.

As a fairly new Droid developer any paid apps from BillP Studios will run for free when we detect a XO machine. I hope we can convince other companies to do the same.

So, I am looking forward to a non-Sugar based XO and hope to see a resurgence in the OLPC program.