Last week, India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled a prototype of a touch screen tablet PC which is expected to sell for 35 USD when it is released to the public in the near future. While the tablet is already creating a stir amongst those who see it as a combatant to the XO laptop created by One Laptop per Child (OLPC), the founder, Nicholas Negroponte, has seen it as a chance to create a better laptop for education systems worldwide. This diplomatic response was published through a congratulatory letter written by Negroponte and published in the Times of India.
In this letter, Negroponte offered those working on the tablet PC free access to all software, hardware, and lessons learned through experience of OLPC. Negroponte also offered six key suggestions geared towards making the $35 PC a success, including focusing the project on children ages six to twelve and ways in which to design child-proof hardware. Stressing the importance of collaboration instead of competition, Negroponte concluded his letter by encouraging Minister Kapil Sibal to send a team to Boston so that OLPC and Negroponte's associated university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, can share results and experiences with the development team. OLPC also plans to release an XO tablet for $100 by 2012.
(Sources: OLPC Blog, TechWorld, and The Times of India)