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Operating Systems Software Education Hardware

No Windows (Officially) On OLPC 179

Posted by kdawson
from the thinking-of-the-children dept.
Kadin2048 writes "Despite reports last week in major news sources indicating that the One Laptop Per Child project was in negotiations with Microsoft to bring Windows XP to the low-cost platform, Walter Bender, president of Software and Content at OLPC, said in an interview with Ars Technica, 'We are a free and open-source shop. We have no one from OLPC working with Microsoft on developing a Windows platform for the XO.'"
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No Windows (Officially) On OLPC

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  • by AEton (654737) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:56AM (#18970985)
    For unrelated reasons, I was reading the OLPC Wiki's Myths page [laptop.org] weeks ago and noticed this entry, which hasn't changed any in the time since:

    The proposed $100 machine will run a Microsoft Windows operating system
    True: Microsoft is working on a Windows based system that can be executed on the OLPC laptop. False: There is no strategy change. The OLPC is continuing to develop a Linux-based software set for the laptop in conjunction with Red Hat. But since the OLPC project is open we cannot (and maybe even don't want to) stop other people from developing and supplying alternate software packages.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:00AM (#18971029)
    Neither of these statements particularly contradict each other. Nobody on the OLPC project is working with MS to get Windows working on the machine. That doesn't mean that MS can't have a few people working independent of the OLPC project trying to get Windows to run on the hardware.
  • That's too bad (Score:3, Informative)

    by lakiw (1039502) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:18AM (#18971253)
    I was looking forward to using the "show code" button on Windows.

    BTW, yes there is an actual "show code" button on the keyboard. It's really cool. You can edit the code of most of the included applications and apply changes on the fly. I know it's for kids, but I REALLY want one of these laptops. Check it out at www.laptop.org
  • by madhatter256 (443326) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:31AM (#18971405)
    There is TinyXP. it takes up 400mbs, and requires at least 40mb RAM. Google it as it will come up with information about it, and also download links. I'm sure posting links like that are violation of the rules here on slashdot, so I won't take that chance.
  • Re:Good to know (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:32AM (#18971427) Journal
    Microsoft offered at the start to provide free-beer (mmm, free beer) licenses for Windows to the project. In the volumes these are expected to be manufactured, they will be a sizeable percentage (not a majority, but a noticeable proportion) of the total installed base in the next few years, and they would really like to keep hold of that. The decision was made that the entire project should be open.

    One of the aims of the project is that local industries in developing countries will be able to start making clones of them. The blueprints for the hardware and all of the software will be available for download to encourage this. The most advertised aim is to use them as educational tools for children, but a significant secondary aim is to use them as a starting step to moving a country's economy to a more technological footing.

    I am still a bit surprised that they went with Linux, however. Apart from buzzword compliance, I would have thought that OpenBSD would have been a better choice, since it is much lighter on resources and much easier to tweak.

  • by jabuzz (182671) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:36AM (#18971475) Homepage
    They changed the processor from a Geode GX1 which uses SDRAM to a faster Geode LX700 which uses less power and DDR memory. I would hazard a guess that the difference between 128MB of SDRAM and 256MB of DDR RAM is minimal, and it will make a difference to Linux.
  • What idiots?! (Score:2, Informative)

    by StarKruzr (74642) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:19AM (#18972047) Journal
    Clearly you are a Microsoft disinformation agent! From Costa Rica!
  • Re:So much for.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2@eaRASPrthshod.co.uk minus berry> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @11:34AM (#18974403)
    The OLPC is not designed for that. Passing on our cast-offs to someone who can use them is one thing, and it's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself (unless it ends up overloading the electricity / telecoms infrastructure or mucking up established working practices) but OLPC aims to be something radically different.

    The ultimate aim is for some future revision of the OLPC design to be manufactured in the third world for use in the third world, thus breaking their dependency on the West. In order for this to be realised, every aspect of the design has to be as open as possible. That in and of itself does not absolutely preclude Windows -- all it would take would be for Microsoft to release the Source Code and allow independent distribution. (Not that they're going to, because it goes totally against their business model; but you have to understand that it's their choice. Microsoft won't, not can't.)

    Third world countries don't need Windows; be it Vista, XP, or 98. Not even 3.1. They need their own alternative which doesn't involve taking money -- any amount, however small -- out of their economies to make multi-billionaires even richer. If there was no such thing as Open Source, they'd actually be better off with pencils and paper. But there is, and that -- coupled with the availability of computers -- will create jobs for local programmers. Local programmers buy goods in local shops, pay local taxes, eat in local restaurants, donate to local good causes and take their families to visit local tourist attractions: the money that you pay them stays in the local economy. And soon, of course, with the design being open, there will be local computer factories making even more Mk. III and IV OLPCs.

    There's a tired old cliché about teaching a man to fish vs. giving a man a fish. Well, it's not enough to teach a man to fish if you're just going to force him to use your own expensive, proprietary bait.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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