The One Laptop per Child project, due to the financial crisis, has had to reduce its operating costs like so many other companies. From the official Wiki:
“Like many other nonprofits that are facing tough economic times, One Laptop per Child must downsize in order to keep costs in line with fewer financial resources. Today we are reducing our team by approximately 50% and there will be salary reductions for the remaining 32 people. While we are saddened by this development, we remain firmly committed to our mission of getting laptops to children in developing countries. We thank team members who are departing for their contributions to this important mission.” (Source)
While this is sad news I think the hard yards of this project have been done, in many regards. The XO-1 units are fully operational, have a half-a-million user base and a strong support community. The emerging netbook market, spawned by OLPC’s demonstration that you don’t need to pay thousands for a laptop, is going to give birth to technical developments that future XO models will take advantage of. But since the development that I’m interested in (read: content) was not the primary directive of OLPC Inc staff I don’t see this affecting the day-to-day lives of people currently using the tech. A weak global financial economy is showing us how vulnerable we have made ourselves – OLPC’s rich social economy will demonstrate the true value of the project in the coming years.