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Intel's Classmate PC adds some Sugar

Company spun off from rival One Laptop Per Child will develop a version of the Sugar user interface for the Intel low-cost laptop platform.

The inventor of the Sugar user interface used in the One Laptop Per Child's XO says his company is developing a version for Intel's own low-cost laptop.

Intel Classmate PC

Walter Bender said in an interview Thursday with PC World that "a community volunteer is working with Intel on Sugar for the Classmate PC. Sugar Labs helped to expedite the relationship."

Bender is the inventor of the kid-friendly interface, which sits on top of a computer's operating system. His company, Sugar Labs, was spun off from OLPC in May. At the time of the announcement, Bender said Sugar Labs was already talking about sharing the UI with at least four other low-cost laptop makers, including Asus.

He described OLPC as the "primary, but not exclusive, downstream project" for Sugar Labs, and confirmed that the two companies continue to work together on further development of the UI.

That Intel will be working tangentially with OLPC again is notable. The chipmaker left its position as board member of OLPC in January, citing "fundamental differences" between the two companies' visions for low-cost computing. Previous to that, OLPC's founder Nicholas Negroponte had asked Intel to stop selling their Classmate PC platform because it was interfering with sales of the XO. Unsurprisingly, Intel declined his request.