Intel plans to close the Digital Divide with its own version of the $100 Dollar Laptop. The only difference is that their plan is to release a sub $400 dollar laptop and train teachers as well as extended wireless internet access worldwide.
It sounds like a more comprehensive approach than Negroponte’s and Intel certainly has the capital and technology to really do something here. Note that they are one of the most well respected brands in computing, have a huge semiconductor and memory business, and also have a scaleable wireless internet technology in the works, called WiMax.
The article goes on to discuss the initiative:
The program is to be announced on Tuesday at the World Congress on Information Technology, a conference in Austin, Tex., where Intel’s chief executive, Paul S. Otellini, will elaborate on it in a speech on Wednesday.
The initiative, called World Ahead, comes as Intel, the No. 1 chip maker, is embarking on what it says will be a $1 billion revamping program in the face of declining market share and a lagging share price.
So what does this all mean? Competition is always good, and it sounds like Intel and Negroponte are already criticizing each other’s works:
[Negroponte] said that the Intel program was a step forward, but that focusing efforts on training teachers had serious drawbacks.
And Otellini (Intel’s CEO) on Negroponte:
“We don’t think you cross the digital divide with old technology,” he said. “It doesn’t need exotic technology and it runs real applications.”
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