Sugar Labs founded to extend OLPC Linux software to more laptops

Now that One Laptop Per Child has unveiled the Windows XP edition of its XO laptop, a top official of the nonprofit group is leaving to form an organization that will extend the reach of the OLPC's original Linux-based platform, Sugar.

Walter Bender, who served as OLPC's president of software and content, will now help to set up the Sugar Labs Foundation, and so will many core Sugar developers.

In a written statement issued to announce the new foundation, the ASUS Eee PC is mentioned as one possible alternative laptop platform for the Sugar user interface.

OLPC had already bundled the Sugar platform with the most recent releases of the Ubuntu and Fedora/GNU distributions of Linux.

The Sugar Foundation also intends to add more "refinement and cohesiveness" to the software. A roadmap posted on SugarLabs' new Web site shows that work started May 8 of this year on a development release known as Sucrose 0.81.x.

Also according to the roadmap, SugarLabs is targeting June 20 for release of a beta version of "the O.82 stable release," and August 8 for final release of 0.82.

As previously reported in BetaNews, Mary Lou Jepsen, OLPC's former CTO, left that group in January to form Pixel Qi, an organization with plans to design $75 laptops in addition to low-cost cameras, display screens, and other consumer electronics items.

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