The rugged and low-power computers will contain flash memory instead of a hard drive and will use Linux as their operating system. Mobile ad-hoc networking will be used to allow many machines Internet access from one connection.
The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. Pricing is currently expected to start at around US$135–175 and the goal is to reach the US$100 mark in 2008. Approximately 500 developer boards (Alpha-1) were distributed in summer 2006; 875 working prototypes (Beta 1) were delivered in late 2006; 2400 Beta-2 machines were distributed at the end of February 2007; full-scale production is expected to start in mid-2007. Quanta Computer, the project's contract manufacturer, said in February, 2007 that it had confirmed orders for one million units. They indicated they could ship 5 million to 10 million units this year because seven nations have committed to buy the XO-1 for their schoolchildren, including Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Thailand and Uruguay.
The OLPC project has stated that a consumer version of the XO laptop is not planned. However, Quanta will be offering machines very similar to the XO machine on the open market. Emerging competitors in the category include the Eee pc.