A nonprofit group that plans to produce low-cost computers for poor children has delayed production and raised the laptops’ price as it works out flaws in the product, a spokesman for the foundation said on Friday.
The One Laptop per Child Foundation’s XO laptop will sell for about $188, up from the $176 the group announced in May, said foundation spokesman George Snell.
That’s almost double the original goal of the foundation’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher and the brother of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.
Negroponte, who founded the MIT Media Lab, often refers to the product as the “$100 laptop.”
Production, which was slated to begin this month, has been postponed to November so that the group can work out bugs in the final beta version of the green-and-white laptops, said foundation spokesman George Snell.
Some 40,000 units will be produced in November, then about 80,000 the following month, he said.
“We are testing it. We are making sure all the software works,” he said. “We are making all the corrections on it that need to be made before the product comes out.”
The foundation plans to sell the computers directly to governments, which will provide the laptops to grammar school children at no cost.
It has yet to announce any customers.
“We are not disclosing any orders until we have a final computer,” Snell said. “We are in talks with dozens of countries.”
The foundation has said it may sell the laptop on the commercial market as well, though at a higher price.
If the project is a success, it could pressure the rest of the computer industry to start offering similar machines.
The XO laptop uses a microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices and Linux software developed by Red Hat.
Microsoft has said that it is testing the machines to determine whether they are capable of running its Windows operating system.
Chipmaker Intel recently teamed up with the foundation saying the two might collaborate on a second generation version of the XO laptop.
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