Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop Per Child project has broken his silence and slammed Intel for its decision last week to withdraw from the organisation’s board of directors.
The MIT professor said, Intel had “not delivered on any of the promises they made when they joined OLPC.”
Negroponte said the OLPC leaders had hoped for a positive, collaborative relationship, but “it never materialised”.
"Intel came in late to the process and joined an already strong and thriving OLPC Board of Directors made up of premier technology partners; these partners have been crucial in helping us fulfil our mission of getting laptops into the hands of children in the developing world. “
Negroponte insisted the project had “always embraced and welcomed other low-cost laptop providers,” but claimed that Intel had several times broken its agreements with OLPC since joining the board in July 2007.
“Intel has violated its written agreement with OLPC several times. Intel continued to disparage the XO laptop in developing nations that had already decided to partner with OLPC (Uruguay and Peru), with countries that were in the midst of choosing a laptop solution (Brazil and Nigeria), and even small and remote places where Intel has no real interest (Mongolia).
"Intel was unable to work cooperatively with OLPC on software development. Instead, over the entire six months it was a member of the board, Intel contributed nothing to OLPC.”
Negroponte said Intel never contributed in any way to our engineering efforts and failed to provide even a single line of code to the XO software – even though Intel marketed its products as being able to run the XO software.
“The best Intel could offer in regards to an "’Intel inside’ XO laptop was one that would be more expensive and consume more power – exactly the opposite direction of OLPC's vision.
"Despite OLPC's best efforts to work things out with Intel and several warnings that their behaviour was untenable, it is clear that Intel's heart has never been in working collaboratively as a part of OLPC.”
Negroponte said Intel’s attitude to the project was summed up by its unilateral announcement that it was withdrawing from the board.
“Intel issued a statement to the press behind our backs while asking us to work on a joint statement with them. Actions do speak louder than words in this case. As we said in the past, we view the children as a mission; Intel views them as a market.”
Last week Intel confirmed it had left the project but company spokesmen refused to comment further