OLPC News is reporting that some customers who placed orders for the OLPC XO Laptop as part of the “Give One, Get One” program in the UK are receiving emails letting them know that their orders may be cancelled. The reason? Merchants who sell their products through Amazon have to ship the items within 30 days of the time an order is placed, and the XO laptop won’t be available in the UK until January 3rd. So if you placed an order in mid-November, your order could be canceled if Amazon doesn’t work the issues out.
The OLPC Foundation is partnering with Amazon to sell the computers this year. Last year the foundation handled sales itself but this year the Give One, Get One available is available to customers in more countries than last year.
My guess is that this is just a technical glitch. Some automated Amazon system is sending people the same notice they would receive if their order had been placed with any other third party merchant that sells items through Amazon. Hopefully once the problem is brought to the company’s attention the orders will be extended and the computers will ship as soon as they’re available.
via OLPC News
This reminds me of the OpenPandora pre-order mess. A whole bunch of them actually did get canceled after 30 days, and people were unhappy to say the least.
The main reasons I could think of to own an OLPC: ruggedization, outdoor screen, ebook mode. But I agree, in virtually every other respect, consumer netbooks have passed them by.
For that matter, if you care about an outdoor screen and ebook mode, you might be better served to just get a dedicated ebook reader.
BTW: I’m not saying these OLPC units are no good. They are great for people in the 3rd world were the ability to wash mud, bugs, kerosene lap oil off the keyboard is important. Great for setting up networks in the bush. Great for kids walking miles to school down a rutted road. You hear from early reports the kids love them and their working about as well as expected.
But to want one of these machines for yourself? Well, that seems to be an idea that has passed away. It was interesting when you couldn’t buy a Netbook, but today as we enter year 2009 the concept of owning a OLPC OX unit just doesn’t make sense… unless you really do want to dump your computer in a mud puddle.
These computers are great for the kids that need them in these far away places. And I say make a donation to the organization so as many kids as possible can get them instead of AK47s. But, the blush is off the rose for owning one of these things yourself from my point of view.
Why has it taken so old for OLPC to roll out? I mean when the model we see in the ads now was show it was 2005/6! At that time it seemed cool to think about a sub-$700 laptop. But as of 2007 a sub-$400 laptop was on the market. As of Fall 2008 a sub-$500 laptop that runs like you current computer is around…you have you chocie of a few dozen models.
You’re better off making a donation to OLPC to buy 3rd world kid one and then taking the money you would waste getting yourself one and using that money to buy a Netbook.
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