Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

European debut for '$100 laptop'

Screengrab of Amazon OLPC shop, Amazon
The XO is due to go on sale again in the US on 17 November

Europeans will soon be able to buy their own XO laptop.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation is planning to sell the devices via online store Amazon's European outlets from 17 November.

The machines will be sold under the Give One, Get One scheme that the OLPC organisation has already run in the US.

Under that scheme, buyers get one machine for themselves and the other is donated to a school child in a developing nation.

Late delivery

The plan to put the distinctive green and white XO laptops on sale in 27 European nations was revealed by OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte in a speech to the World of Health IT Conference in Copenhagen.

When it goes on sale the XO laptop is expected to cost 268 (313 euros) and should be available in 27 EU nations as well as Switzerland, Russia and Turkey.

The Give One, Get One programme was first run in the US in November and December 2007. The OLPC organisation claims it sold almost 190,000 machines via the scheme.

Despite the success of the scheme, it drew criticism because the OLPC group had trouble delivering machines to those who had ordered one. In a bid to resolve these issues, it signed up with Amazon in September 2008.

The original idea for the OLPC was to create a small, powerful laptop for school children that would sell in the millions yet cost less than $100.

The final version of the machine ended up costing about $188 and the OLPC group has only sold about 600,000 of the machines.

Many nations have expressed an interest in using the XO but few have signed up to buy them in the numbers expected by the OLPC organisation. Most recently the Caldas region of Colombia signed up to buy 65,000 XO machines.

The XO has also faced competition from Intel's Classmate laptop. In September, Venezuela ordered one million Classmate laptops for its school children.

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