The government of Venezuela has announced plans to order more than one million Classmate PC laptops from Portugal as part of a broad economic agreement between the two countries. The government of Venezuela aims to boost technical literacy by distributing the computers to schools. The Classmate PC units that will be distributed to schools in Venezuela and Portugal will ship preinstalled with a custom flavor of the Linux operating system.
The Classmate PC is Intel’s low-cost portable computing reference design and it uses the company’s energy-efficient mobile processors. It targets the education market in developing countries. Intel recently secured a deal with the government of Portugal, which will be manufacturing 500,000 of its own Classmate PC units based on Intel’s design. Portugal has now also agreed to produce an additional million units to sell to Venezuela.
This is the single largest Classmate PC order so far, and dwarfs the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project’s total sales. Their innovative XO Laptop, costs $188, but faced strong competition from Intel’s Classmate in several South American countries.
OLPC might be making a comeback, however, and it announced a pilot program with Peru in early September after controversially transitioning the XO Laptop to Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system.