This will not result in an educational revolution. I believe that it will realize my previously published prediction that the XO will become a new form of television embraced by adolescents and pre-adolescents and exploited by megaliths like News Corporation.
This will provide a relatively benign denoument to the OLPC drama. Instead of a campaign to "straighten out the backwards areas" of the world (odious rhetoric from fifty years ago, not a direct quote from this decade, though the degree to which it applies to the OLPC worldview should be considered), it will create an early-adopters' market in the industrial world and will seed some previously unseen forms of media software.
I think any "buy one send one (or two) to the needy abroad" program will function more as a propaganda (oops, marketing) advantage rather than as a serious distribution strategy. I would expect some would-be Bono to organize rock concerts to push the process along, with seas of XOs waved by the audience while they exchange pictures by mesh network.
And best of all, the technology will gain an economic toehold, which is all it needs to survive, providing that its name is not besmirched by failed attempts to replace the educational system.
The developing world certainly needs the benefits of what Wayan persists in calling "clock-stopping hot technology". It will have a home in many a village and town providing the functionality of a telecentre, the local internet cafe, and an educational resource.
It will be introduced there not by the technological mandarins of
Cambridge, Mass., but rather by members of the various diasporas who
have made it to these wealthy shores and who never forgot where they
came from, as I predicted in a paper presented in 2005.
In the British comedy film "The Horse's Mouth" Alec Guinness plays an obscure artist whose works are lionized for all the wrong reasons once he is thought to be dead. In the end he wanders away, obscure as ever, muttering "It's not the vision I had".
This will not be the vision that Nick had, but it will be the beginning of something else - something that we can all put our hands to and that will mean something different to each of us. I think I've seen something like this before.
(Hats off to Mary Lou Jepsen and all those who worked on the technology, both hardware and software).