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Four countries commit to 4 million Linux-powered OLPC devices

Jul 31, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

[Updated Aug. 1, 2006] — A spokesperson for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program revealed July 31 that the countries of Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina, and Thailand have each committed to buy 1 million Linux laptops through the U.S.-based program.

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Several media outlets reported last week that Nigeria had committed to purchase 1 million of the laptops, and others reported (incorrectly) that $1 million worth of computers — or about 10,000 — had been requested by the African nation.

OLPC program director for Middle East and Africa Khaled Hassounah confirmed to DesktopLinux.com July 31 that Nigeria has indeed committed to buy 1 million machines, and then revealed that Brazil, Argentina, and Thailand also have made similar commitments.

“We have not finalized the deal with the Nigerian government yet, but we are in the process of doing so,” Hassounah told DesktopLinux.com. “The person who announced the Nigerian government's commitment to buying the laptops (Professor Ernest Ndukwe) is a key member of the Nigerian Task Force working with OLPC on bringing laptops to Nigerian children.”

“We are actively moving ahead with Brazil, Argentina and Thailand. Others (countries) are being considered,” Hassounah said.

The OLPC aims to distribute — free of charge — millions of Linux-based laptop computers, complete with their own power sources, to needy children in developing countries around the world.

From the Linux perspective, Nicholas Negroponte, head of the OLPC project and former director of MIT Media Labs — where the project originated — has said that the OLPC project could lead to mass adoption of Linux, making the OS as popular on the desktop as it now is on the server.

To date, AMD, eBay, Google, Nortel, Red Hat, and a number of other technology companies have signed on to help support the project.

To find out more about how this program has evolved over the past 18 months, see this special report on our sister site, DesktopLinux.com:

Hot Topic: The “One Laptop Per Child” project

[Updated Aug. 1, 2006 — This story was modified to eliminate the impression given by the original wording that firm, written, legally binding “orders” had been placed by any of the four countries listed.]


 
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