Intel has pulled out of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme, which aims to equip children in developing countries with low-cost laptops.
However, the company is still committed to education in the poorer regions of the world, including South Africa, and is spending about R100-million a year on its own World Ahead programme.
Intel joined the OLPC board in July, contributing money and technical expertise to the programme, but quit yesterday over long-standing differences.
It would appear that OLPC wanted Intel to focus exclusively on its own OLPC products, ending support for other platforms – including Intel's own Classmate PC, which it is marketing in some of the areas that OLPC is also looking to enter.
The first OLPC laptop with an Intel chip was scheduled to be shown at next week's Consumer Electronics Show, but it's not clear if this will still go ahead.
OLPC aims to produce laptop computers for the education market in developing countries that cost about $100.00. Currently, they are $188.00, running on Linux and AMD chips.
Intel offers a similar device, the Classmate PC, which is part of the company's solution for providing computers, access to technology and educational content for children in developing countries.
The company's education and technology programme, World Ahead, involves input from customers, shools, educators and goverments to promote education.