Wednesday, May 09, 2007

(part of) OLPC OS + Classmate = ?

I'm baffled by this announcement:

UPDATE - Red Hat is preparing to release a new "Red Hat Global Desktop" that over time will grow into an online desktop that integrates online services into a client desktop platform. The platform will allow users to access online and local data in a unified way.

Red Hat has teamed up with Intel for the platform. Local PC manufacturers will build the actual systems. The compuers will target small businesses and governments in emerging economies, and the software will be made available on Intel's Classmate PC, a low cost notebook computer for students.

The software borrows from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, with about 95 per cent of the code overlapping. The OLPC uses an adapted version of Red Hat's Fedora Linux. The Global Desktop won't share the OLPC's "Sugar" user interface, but will come bundled with applications such as Firefox and Open Office.

The first version of the software is due out in June and will use a traditional user interface. Consequent updates will move to a model where traditional applications are integrated with online services, said Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens.

But I can't imagine why this would be a bad thing, so, YAY! More innovative free software and cheap hardware!

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