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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nonprofit laptop maker forced to cut staff

In another sign of the growing financial strain on nonprofit groups, the One Laptop Per Child program is cutting its work force in half.

The project, a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that sells durable, green-and-white laptops to developing countries for use in grade schools, will be left with just 32 employees at reduced salaries.

"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," Nicholas Negroponte, the group's founder, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

The group sells its XO laptops to governments of developing countries for $199 but would like to get the cost down to $99. The computers run on open-source software and use less power than ordinary PCs.

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