OLPC may still not have any completely new hardware ready to roll out, but it is now giving its slightly improved XO 1.5 laptop a bit of a boost. The organization has just announced that the laptop will now be shipping with both the simplified Sugar Learning Platform and the more full-fledged GNOME Desktop for some added productivity. What's more, the organization has also confirmed that its forthcoming XO-HS (with a new keyboard more suitable for high school students) will come with the same dual-boot option as well, and will be launched first in Uruguay this September. Full press release is after the break.
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Sugar Learning Platform and GNOME Desktop Now Shipping on the One Laptop per Child XO-1.5; Will Run on New XO-HS

ASUNCION, Paraguay, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Sugar Labs, the GNOME Free Desktop Project, and One Laptop per Child (OLPC) have announced an update to the software offered on the OLPC XO-1.5. The 1.5 million children already using Sugar on the original XO-1 can also benefit from the update, since Paraguay Educa has backported the software.

The Sugar Learning Platform promotes collaborative learning through child-friendly Activities that encourage critical thinking. The GNOME free desktop is a hallmark of all major GNU/Linux distributions, suitable for older children and grown-ups. Switching between the two environments takes only a single click. With GNOME on the XO laptop, the door is opened to thousands of additional educational and productivity applications.

The XO-1.5 has the same industrial design as the original XO-1. Based on a VIA processor, it provides 2x the speed of the XO-1, 4x DRAM memory, and 4x FLASH memory. OLPC has announced the availability of a high-school edition of the XO-1.5, the XO-HS, with a newly designed keyboard, more comfortable for older students. The first deployment of the XO-HS is set to begin in Uruguay under the highly successful Plan Ceibal in September.

Children familiar with the XO-1 will naturally grow into the XO-1.5 with its expanded functionality. "One Laptop per Child promotes open-source software so that it can grow and adapt to the needs of the child. The Sugar platform on the XO is key to our educational mission because it gives students a unique and intuitive learning software environment," said OLPC Association CEO Rodrigo Arboleda.

Stormy Peters, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, said, "We're really excited to be working with Sugar and OLPC to provide desktop software to children of all ages. GNOME's mission is to provide a free desktop accessible to everyone. Children from Uruguay to Ghana will be able to use their XOs to learn and to show their friends and families how to use Sugar and GNOME."

Walter Bender, Executive Director of Sugar Labs, said, "The fluidity of movement between the two desktops gives learners the ability to transition from a learning environment - Sugar - to a production and productivity environment - GNOME. They have the means of honing the creative skills acquired in an elementary education setting into entrepreneurial skills in a secondary education setting."

"Sugar on a Stick" allows children who don't have an XO laptop to benefit from this new software. Available for download from Sugar Labs in the new, v3 Mirabelle flavor, it can be loaded onto an ordinary USB thumbdrive and used to start a PC in Sugar without touching the hard disk. The XO laptops and Sugar on a Stick run Fedora GNU/Linux.

About Sugar Labs(R): Sugar Labs, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization, is a member project of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Originally part of the One Laptop Per Child project, Sugar Labs coordinates volunteers around the world who are passionate about providing educational opportunities to children through the Sugar Learning Platform. Sugar Labs is supported by donations and is seeking funding and volunteers to accelerate development. For more information, please visit http://www.sugarlabs.org.

About GNOME: GNOME is a free-software project which develops a complete, accessible and easy-to-use desktop standard on all leading GNU/Linux and Unix distributions. Popular with large corporate deployments and millions of small-business and home users worldwide, it includes a development environment to create new applications. The nonprofit GNOME Foundation is composed of hundreds of volunteer developers and industry-leading companies. More information can be found at http://www.gnome.org and http://foundation.gnome.org.

About One Laptop per Child (http://www.laptop.org): OLPC is a non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are inexpensive enough to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education.

This press release was issued through eReleases(R). For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Sugar Labs
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