Now that there is a new political economy for One Laptop Per Child, partners are starting to mix and match to form very odd couples. First we had rumors that OLPC and Microsoft were working together to put Windows on the XO, and now we have a full fledged press release that says Red Hat is partnering with Intel:
Red Hat and Intel are taking advantage of Global Desktop's high performance and minimal hardware requirements to support a wide range of Intel's current and future desktop platforms, including the Classmate, Affordable, Community and Low-Cost PC lines.What is even more shocking is that the Global Desktop software developed by Red Hat is a direct result of the One Laptop Per Child program:
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 OpenOffice.No longer will the OLPC computer be the sole techno-marvel that can have speedy suspend/resume, nor be the only hardware platform maximized for the Sugar UI. Very soon, I predict that Intel's Classmate PC will not only have the Sugar/Linux operating system, they'll have the Marvel wireless mesh, and even the dual mode screen - a perfect Classmate and OLPC situation.
In fact, even at this point, what would be the proposal-winning reason to commit to OLPC instead of Intel/Red Hat? Especially if you are an Education Minister who values an implementation plan or constructionism?