Negroponte shows off amazing XO2 design - but will OLPC survive?

OK, so this does look cool: OLPC's XO2 is a touchscreen-only book-like device that serves as ebook reader, media player, computer and (presumably) game machine. Nicholas Negroponte unveiled the specs of the new machine at a press conference in Cambridge.

OK, so this does look cool: OLPC's XO2 is a touchscreen-only book-like device that serves as ebook reader, media player, computer and (presumably) game machine. Nicholas Negroponte unveiled the specs of the new machine at a press conference in Cambridge. Some crucial facts: estimated cost $75, displays from Pixel Qi (founded by ex-OLPCer Mary Lou Jepsen, 2010 delivery, one-tenth the energy consumption of XO1. Putting that together, OLPCNews says, "it seems quite reasonable to assume that the XOXO won't be built on an x86 architecture."

Everything about this design seems so much more appropriate than the current machine. Check out the depiction of a kid typing on a software keyboard or two kids playing on it at the same time. Consider this statemement from the press release:

The design provides a right and left page in vertical format, a hinged laptop in horizontal format, and a flat two-screen wide continuous surface that can be used in tablet mode. Younger children will be able to use simple keyboards to get going, and older children will be able to switch between keyboards customized for applications as well as for multiple languages.

Amazing design. But as Ars points out it's by no means a sure thing that OLPC will live to see 2010:

Negroponte's announcement of a next-generation product seems extremely premature in the face of all of the severe problems faced by OLPC and its current product. Without proper deployment infrastructure to handle the XO, there's a very real question of whether the organization will last long enough to push out a second product.