The Battle That Never Was: OLPC XO vs. Intel Classmate PC

It seems like a distant memory now. But, it was only a few years ago before anyone heard of the Asus Eee PC or Acer Aspire One, there was another battle of mini computing titans. The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project produced the XO for children in developing nations. And, Intel answered back with the Classmate PC. There is one little twist to this story though. The Classmate PC never really came out to battle. And, now it looks like it might not ever do so…

Orders for Classmate PCs canceled or suspended, say Taiwan makers (DigiTimes)

The battle for the so-called $100 computers (which never really existed since the XO was priced at $200) was supposed to revolutionize computer based learning for children. But, unrealistic expectations, an odd XO graphical user interface, and, of course, the awful economy of the past few years has sidelined the OLPC XO to the point where we rarely read about it in mainstream tech blogs and news sites these days. And, quite frankly, I had completely forgotten about the Classmate PC.

But, we should all give thanks to the OLPC XO project. If not for them, we might not have ever seen the explosion of the inexpensive but small and functional netbooks of today.