This morning Kno announced that it had completed another round of funding with Intel as a major investor in the educational tablet startup. The company also confirmed that they would no longer manufacture the Kno tablet hardware, instead focusing on software design. Intel will actually take over the hardware aspect of the business. The chip company won’t manufacture the units, but instead share their blueprints with OEMs, just as they do with their Classmate PCs for students.
This actually isn’t a bad idea — we were definitely impressed with the richness of the software on the Kno tablet at CES, so it’s clearly the company’s strong suit. Allowing a big company like Intel to take on the arduous task of working out the hardware means Kno can concentrate on the aspect unique to them. We’ve been impressed with the Classmate netbook/convertible tablets so far, so it’s a good bet that Intel will create something just as good for older students.
Plus, this relationship isn’t exclusive. Kno’s software could end up on a wide range of tablets or other mobile technology (someone hack it onto the Iconia quick!). I’m personally hoping to see something along the lines of a dual-boot on an Android tablet or a UI over Android (like Sense or TouchWiz) with tightly integrated apps.