Intel initially launched its Classmate PC in the same vein as the One Laptop Per Child campaign's XO, namely a low-cost low-spec machine intended for developing countries. The two schemes, however, have somewhat parted ways recently. First Intel pulled its support for the XO amid some controversy and now the Classmate is apparently set to be available throughout the US and Europe in retail stores.
In actual fact the word, according to Reuters' sources, is that an as-yet-unveiled second generation version of the Classmate would be making its way into budding consumers' hands. Current pricing speculation seems to put the system at around $250 to $350 (£130 - £280) - a pretty flexible range suggesting that nothing is set in stone yet.
Realistically, though, the new Classmate would probably fall into the same price-range as Asus' Eee PC. Specs of the current Classmate and its successor are still kept under wraps, so there's no knowing how close a rival to the Eee the forthcoming retail Classmate will be. That said, both run custom Linux operating systems with the option of also installing Windows, so the similarities are there.
Quite how this move will play out is hard to predict, but Intel certainly has the brand awareness needed to make the venture succeed. Whether that will be enough to win over buyers remains to be seen.