New York Times headlines about the OLPC.

I find this New York Times article by John Markoff interesting. First the editors used the headline "demise of One Laptop Per Child" and now uses "Intel Quits Effort to Get Computers to Children". Inside the article John is quite clear that OLPC was really leaving Intel because Intel was harming the project.

At the meeting, the board agreed that Mr. Negroponte should make a final effort to end Intel’s efforts to disrupt One Laptop’s sales.

A rapprochement never happened, however.

“They played another dirty trick in Peru,” he said. “It’s a little bit like McDonald’s competing with the World Food Program.”

It is like some editor refuses to believe that it is Intel that is in the wrong, or that OLPC is doing well and might possibly be better off without Intel's involvement.

Another organization often mentioned is Microsoft. Other than financial aid and possibly developer time, I don't see what Microsoft they could offer. The OLPC isn't a laptop project, but an educational project, and a requirement for this project to be successful is if the core of the software is user modifiable (students should be able to "run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software" -- In other words, it must be Free/Libre and Open Source Software).

While Microsoft could have put some of their developers on this FLOSS educational project, installing non-FLOSS software (even if free or if Microsoft was donating money per machine) would have also been harmful to the goals of the project.