Just like my boss, Prof. Roseli de Deus Lopes tell to the press everytime she’s asked about it, when Negroponte announced that he would be working for the production of US$100 laptops, he’d be creating a new niche market, that most companies were yet aware of.
Back in November 2007, it was just around the time ASUS released the first few models of their EEE Pc. I was just back in Taiwan, and decided to check it out, they were definitely visually friendly.
But I had several issues with it.
– The Linux based operation system, suffered from the same issues from the first linux based Intel Classmates. Bulky and linear, and attempts to recreate traditional educational models inside these lowcost laptops.
– The design. It’s friendly depending to the target public, it definetely does not consider the strain for heavy use from smaller kids.
Despite all the criticisms towards the XOs, especially for the fact it does look like a toy, they considered a lot things to solve these issues.
I’m definitely not a business men, and that was the approach I had to take everytime people mocked the XOs, for the somewhat more powerful Classmates, and later on the EEE PCs. From the first moment on, people were mistakenly considering these new devices as potentially susbtitutes for traditional laptops, instead of a new niche by their own.
But just like most of the software design, the other devices were created with too much adult thinking in mind, instead of thinking about how small children would use them, as digital inclusion tools. XOs being from the OLPC – One Laptopn Per Children, takes the children part with more importance, and was not designed to substitute more powerful devices.
Another thing that is also stated to the press, is how this is not a replacement, that it is an intro tool, if you need to acomplish more complex taks, you look for more powerful computer, but you won’t try to accomplish those complex tasks while just begining to learn how to use a computer, or just trying to get digitally savy.
The result from this deal with Amazon, is definitely something interesting to watch.