updated 05:00 pm EDT, Thu June 19, 2008
Intel to develop Sugar UI
Intel has been named today as one of the parties developing its own version of the Sugar user interface for its Classmate PC with children as the targeted user. The UI would be based on the version used in One Laptop Per Child's XO educational laptop. OLPC's former executive and current Sugar Labs Foundation head Walter Bender announced about one month ago that his company is talking with four PC makers to supply them with the Sugar user interface.
The Sugar interface provides educational tools for kids, and Intel's adoption would help Sugar Labs grow the number of applications for the software in open-source platforms and other dedicated hardware. According to Bender, there are other PC vendors in addition to Intel his non-profit company is working with, though they were not named. He did reveal that OLPC remains the primary beneficiary of Sugar's development program, however, and the two companies are working closely on the project.
The ongoing debate and conflict on whether or not educational laptops and the Sugar UI should be used on open-source or Windows platforms prompted Bender, an open-source proponent, to resign from OLPC in April. He founded Sugar Labs in May, on the same day OLPC announced it would offer Windows XP on its XO laptop.
Intel left OLPC's board some six months ago, as the company was not willing to discontinue its Classmate PC program and adopt OLPC's XO laptops for distribution in developing countries.
Intel's Classmate PC currently runs on Windows XP, along with the recently converted OLPC XO laptop, which launched with a Linux OS. [via PC World]