Click here to see images of the XO 2.0
At a special One Laptop Per Child event held today, May 20, at MIT, OLPC Chairman Nicholas Negroponte provided a first glimpse at the next generation of the XO laptop.
The XO 2.0 takes a radically different approach from the current version of the XO laptop. This version is designed more as a e-book reader than as a traditional laptop.
No working model was displayed by Negroponte, but in photos the XO 2.0 was seen as a smaller sized (about half the size of the current XO) right and left pane e-book that could be used in multiple modes, including as a tablet and as a laptop. (Click here to see images of the XO 2.0, some of which were photographed from a presentation so I apologize for the quality.)
The XO 2.0 will use touch-screen technology rather than a traditional keyboard; in one image the XO 2.0 is shown with a keyboard superimposed over one of the panes while in laptop mode. The displays on the XO 2.0 are traditional 16 by 9 DVD viewing displays, which according to Negroponte is one of the most common formats put out by manufacturers due to the popularity of portable DVD players and other movie-viewing devices. The target is for the XO 2.0 to use just 1 watt of power and Negroponte said their goal is for the XO to reach a $75 price point. The OLPC has a 2010 launch target for the XO 2.0. Also during today's session, Negroponte referred to some of the news surrounding the OLPC of late and stated that there has been no change in the OLPC's mission. Negroponte did say the OLPC has changed its target strategy by being more open to countries that have pursued XO contracts, such as Uruguay and Peru. He also said the OLPC will restart the Give One Get One program sometime in August or September. Also speaking at this morning's session was new OLPC President Charles Kane, the former chief financial officer of the organization. Kane spoke about the unique challenges that the OLPC faces as a small nonprofit (with 26 full-time employees and under 30 consultants) and how, while many businesses feel threatened by the XO, the OLPC also needs good partnerships with businesses. On that subject, Kane and Negroponte spoke briefly about the recent agreement with Microsoft to provide a $3 version of Windows XP that can run on the XO. They also spoke about how this can be deployed in dual-boot versions for XO systems along with Linux.