[Marketing] Competitive lanscape: $100 DMP Edubook

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 03:01:22 EDT 2009

DMP's marketing is very slick - they identified that OLPC's
credibility suffered by not hitting the $100 target. So DMP built a
model with $100 as the ceiling. To do so, they took stuff out: the OS
(optional), the component assembly (not included), wifi networking
(optional apparently), localized keyboards (unknown). And, of course,
there is no deployment coordination; the idea is that components get
shipped to a country and the country assembles them, loads an OS and
learning software, and deploys with no participation from the
manufacturer. The DMP Edubook is a netbook project, not an education
project like OLPC.

It could be argued that OLPC made a mistake by restricting
distribution of the XO-1. Most journalists and many influencers have
never touched one, and so go by secondhand information. Worse, the
G1G1 programs and journalists loans were single machines; the magic of
Sugar collaboration was invisible, reducing the XO-1 to a netbook

The reality of schools everywhere is a hodgepodge of old computers,
new computers, Mac computers, no computers, and, for some, XO
computers. What Sugar offers is a means to provide a consistent
learning environment across hardware. To me, this is indeed
complementary to the XO. The XO remains the best machine to experience
Sugar, in particular because of its mesh networking. I am convinced
widespread use of Sugar will boost OLPC.

The DMP Edubook could be a real opportunity for Sugar, because I
consider it unlikely that Microsoft will want to organize licensing of
local installation of Windows XP or Windows 7 over component parts.
And of course, that would add to the cost, plus the cost of a kids'
interface, plus the cost of learning software.

I wouldn't want to recommend "competing" with OLPC for a large-scale
deployment in an African or Latin American country. But OLPC has not
deployed in Eastern Europe. Why not? I have often seen comments
indicating those countries hesitate to deploy machines associated with
southern developing countries. It seems they would feel stigmatized by
a "charity" project; they want to produce or at least assemble
locally. Perhaps we could talk to DMP about their eastern European


On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM, Tim McNamara
<paperless at timmcnamara.co.nz> wrote:
> 2009/10/8 Sean DALY <sdaly.be at gmail.com>
>> http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20091007PD223.html
>> http://www.taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xItem=67846&ctNode=413
>> http://noticias.com.gt/economia/20090821-taiwan-propone-instalar-ensambladora-computadoras-guatemala.html
>> * Claim: $100 per unit (unassembled components, no OS), with liberal
>> dissing of OLPC in the communications.
> Interesting. This could be a win for Sugar Labs, at least to some extent. I
> wonder if those govts would consider Sugar on those PCs...
> This sub-netbook is pretty stock standard. It doesn't seem to have a lot of
> the neat features of the XO. The XO-2 will be even further removed, e.g. no
> keyboard.
> There are already competitors in this space of providing low powered
> sub-notebooks that people are used to (See a micro-post I wrote about
> the Gecko)
> These products could be seen as complementary to Sugar, but they do appear
> to erode the sway of the XO.

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