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Amazon launches OLPC 'Give 1 Get 1' laptop drive

By Dan Nystedt
November 17, 2008 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - One Laptop Per Child Association Inc. (OLPC) launched its "Give 1 Get 1" program for a second time, allowing people to buy one of its iconic green minilaptops and donate one to a child in the developing world at the same time for just $399.

This year, OLPC teamed up with Amazon.com Inc. for smoother ordering and distribution.

Amazon will begin taking orders for the XO laptops on Monday. The devices will be shipped within 30-days in the U.S. or longer for people ordering from the U.K. or other parts of the world.

All orders from outside the U.S. will be taken through Amazon's U.K. Web site and will be delivered in the first quarter of next year or later, OLPC said in a statement.

OLPC was started by MIT researchers with a goal of creating a low-cost $100 laptop for school kids in countries where educational budgets are less than $20 per child and most children don't stay in school past the firth grade.

Although its initial laptop, the XO, costs double the target price, the organization has blossomed. OLPC has shipped more than 500,000 XO laptops to children in 31 countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia and Iraq. The organization hopes to deliver 1 million by the end of this year.

The Give 1 Get 1 program OLPC last year ran for six weeks and generated sales of 160,000 XO laptops, an OLPC representative said. More people opted to give the device outright, so over 100,000 of those laptops went to school kids in countries including Haiti and Rwanda.

"The phenomenal success of last year’s Give 1 Get 1 program created tremendous demand from both the public who wanted to give more and from countries that saw an opportunity to attack poverty through education," said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of OLPC, in a statement.

There are several ways to participate in the Give 1 Get 1 program.

In Give 1 Get 1, people pay $399 for two XO laptops, one sent to a child in a developing country and the other sent to the donor. Those who don't want an XO can also simply give as many laptops as they want at $199 each.

People in the U.S. can order at www.amazon.com/xo.

People outside the U.S. can order at www.amazon.co.uk.

Microsoft Windows lovers should take note. The XOs to be shipped to users will carry a Linux operating system, not the version of Windows XP that has been tweaked to run on the XO laptop.

Several companies, including Google Inc. and SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), have pledged to match and double employee donations.

Many companies offer matching-donation programs, and people interested in Give 1 Get 1 should check with their employers. OLPC said it hopes that interested parties will get in contact with the organization.

But there's no need to wait to get involved. Anyone interested in donating laptops to kids in the developing world can do so through OLPC's Web site, though these programs do not involve sending a laptop to the donor. OLPC offers several ways to participate, including an option to Give Many or volunteer to develop software, translate languages, organize a group or become part of an OLPC effort around the world.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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