At the end of an otherwise tepid presentation at the Intel Developer Forum today, Dadi Perimutter, head of Intel's Mobility Group, dropped a bomb (via PowerPoint) on his audience: a mysterious tablet device, which could well be the next generation of the Classmate OLPC competitor. If that is the case, the OLPC might really have something to worry about. Sugar, the "revolutionary" Linux-based OS originally developed for the OLPC, is already in development for the Classmate project, not to mention that fact that this new picture indicates that Intel may have taken a few of Nick Negroponte's visions for the OLPC XO-2 to heart, and possibly to production.
The current Classmate PC fits a traditional form-factor and has been moderately successful, if not dominant, in its intended market. Without a truly unique design or an adequately modified (or new) operating system, the first and second generations of the Classmate amounted to little more than a very cheap laptop. Switching to a tablet-style design and relying on nontraditional input methods could push the new Classmate (or whatever this is) over the edge as the de facto digital teaching device for the developing world. That, and a ridiculously low price. In any case, we'll be at tomorrow's IDF keynote when this little tease gets filled out. [Laptop Mag]