updated 09:40 am EDT, Fri May 23, 2008
XO Sugar for 4 PC Makers
Early talks are underway to bring the Sugar interface from the One Laptop Per Child project's XO notebook to different PC builders, according to news from former OLPC executive and now Sugar Labs Foundation head Walter Bender. The spin-off company is now said to be discussing the use of Sugar with four "ultra low-cost" notebook makers who would use the front-end on top of the underlying operating system for computers targeted at children.
Bender doesn't name the potential clients, though ASUS' Eee PC has been floated as a candidate system by OLPC in the past. Other systems in the class include the Intel Classmate, the MSI Wind, and expected offerings from Acer and GigaByte. Most currently have the option of Linux, which would easily adapt to the existing version of Sugar, while Sugar Labs is said to be porting Sugar to Windows for the upcoming XP edition of the OLPC.
The OLPC group has increasingly but knowingly splintered itself to make the components of the XO commercially available to other firms, including its display business through Pixel Qi and now Sugar Labs. The XO's completely in-house design is often believed to have contributed to its cost overruns, which pushed the ideal of a $100 notebook to an actual price of nearly $200 by the time the system shipped last year. Outsourcing development helps limit OLPC's cost to designing the system itself.