OLPC spinoff in talks with four laptop makers

Sugar Laboratories wants to put its Linux software on more low-cost PCs.

The broad influence of the One Laptop Per Child initiative continues to expand its sphere.

OLPC

Not long ago it was unclear whether the PC--originally conceived as a $100 laptop for children in developing countries--would ever become a reality after a long series of delays . Now the XO laptop seems on the verge of becoming a hot item , and all the research that went into it is leading down divergent paths.

Case in point: Walter Bender, who just left the OLPC initiative to start up its open-source software spinoff, is reportedly in "informal discussions" to get its Linux operating system on low-cost laptops made by four manufacturers. The nonprofit spinoff, Sugar Laboratories , is having discussions with Pixel Qi and is interesting in pursuing a relationship with Intel, Bender told BetaNews. No other companies were named, though he mentioned Asus on Sugar Labs' Web site last week .

It's only the latest permutation in a long-running saga that has seen infighting, resignations, and other controversy since the project's inception. Last month OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte said the XO might switch from Linux to Windows XP , but that change remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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