XO Laptop Hits Bad Financial Spell, Fires Half Its Staff

Owing to ongoing strain in global economy, an ambitious US-based project that focuses to provide cheaper laptop for the children in developing countries is cutting around half of its workforce.

The program, popularly dubbed as ‘One Laptop Per Child’ scheme, is a project by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is axing around 30 jobs.

Now the program will be left with staff strength of just 32 employees with reduced salaries, said Nicholas Negroponte, the professor in MIT and founder of the project.

Citing the impact of tough economic times on non-profit agencies, Negroponte wrote in his blog post, “Like many other nonprofits that are facing tough economic times, One Laptop per Child must downsize in order to keep costs in line with fewer financial resources”.

Powered by open source software, the consortium currently sells its XO laptops for USD 199 to the government of developing countries, but it is planning to trim down the prices to $99, in order to make it more affordable for the children in developing nations.

However, Matt Keller, consortium’s director for Africa, Europe, and Middle East, asserted that the project doesn’t expect large interruption in its operations across the globe.

But recession has diminished participation in the scheme’s “Give One, Get One” program, under which people purchase a pair of laptops for $400, and give one of them to a deprived child overseas, he added.

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Our Comments

Economy is ruthless. Even the most noble of deeds doesn't escape its cruelty. The OLPC project was meant to provide education to millions. Instead, it spearheaded the Netbook revolution which ultimately made it almost obsolete. Non Profit agencies will be going through a tough time and even XO laptop hasn't been spared.

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