Last modified on Wednesday, 23 April 2008 17:19
A key person behind the "$100 laptop" for schoolchildren has left the project. Walter Bender oversaw software and content for the green-and-white "XO" laptops, whose user interface was specially designed as an educational tool.
In March, Bender became head of "deployment" in a move that seemed to be a demotion and now seems to have deployed himself elsewhere. Bender is the third person in the organization to leave. Mary Lou Jepsen, who had been Chief Technology Officer, left in December.
Negroponte claimed Bender was burned out after helping to shape OLPC for two years, during which time it has sold more than 500,000 laptops for children in such countries as Haiti, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Peru, Uruguay and Mongolia.
Bender seems to want to launch an independent effort to further the development of the XOs' Sugar, and get it to run on Linux computers. Sugar uses icons and other graphical features and avoids Windows' files-and-folders format.