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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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:03AM (#18971051)
    That still doesnt answer the biggest question: why did the RAM and drive space double at a cost well above $100? Linux doesnt need the extra RAM for such a low usage computer, the drive space increase could have had some standing point, but since its pushed the price to almost double what it would have been, i must question as to why it was necessary, Linux doesnt need the extra space, and at such a high cost i doubt many countries will think it offers and real benefits.

    So OLPC, answer and answer truthfully: Did you upgrade the XO just so "third party" software (OS) makers (MS) can release their software for your laptop? You dident deny it yet.
  • Does it matter ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceroklis (1083863) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:10AM (#18971145)
    They may not be collaborating with Microsoft on this issue, but this is not going to prevent Microsoft from porting Windows to the XO and trying to sell it (or give it away) to the governments that will purchase the laptops.

    I am sure some countries will be more than happy to get cheap laptops on one side and then install Windows on them in exchange for a large discount from Microsoft for their government's Windows/Office licenses on the other. Thailand, I am looking at you.

    Some countries involved in the program are serious about free software, but I am afraid others are just looking for a bargain. Not to be pessimistic but I will wait to see what happens before considering the OLPC project as an incredible boon for free software, like some people here.

  • by Vihai (668734) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:17AM (#18971245) Homepage

    Oh... but since they ARE the new generation, guess how much your clue will be useful when 95% of the business will use ANOTHER OS :)

    Anyway... don't worry... there is always market for "legacy systems support"

  • by vhogemann (797994) <victor&hogemann,com> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:19AM (#18971269) Homepage
    Well...

    If Microsoft manage to fit a XP/Vista compatible OS inside the OLPC, I guess many people will be purchasing it to install on their desktops.. It would be perfect for a gaming machine!
  • Re:That's too bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:37AM (#18971485) Journal
    Why don't you check out Squeak [squeak.org] for your desktop or laptop. There's even an OS in progress that runs Squeak on the bare metal [squeak.org], with bootstrapping code in assembly and everything else in Squeak. Everything in Squeak is an object, including pixels in the frame buffer, and can have its code inspected and modified at run time. It should come as no surprise that Alan Kay is heavily involved with both projects.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @10:07AM (#18971877) Homepage Journal
    Go back to the early pieces on OLPC: how many people kept saying that (Nick) Negroponte was either deluded or lying about the cost, and that by the time it came out, the OLPC would cost almost exactly what a cheap laptop with Windows cost? Surprise -- that's exactly what happened.

    A cheap Windows notebook costs $175? Or am I missing something else? There aren't many notebooks under $500.

    Linux used to be able to operate in small spaces with low power requirements, the same with Windows, NT4 was very compact and stable. The problem comes in when you start adding all the unnecessary eye candy and comprehensive desktop environments.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday May 03, 2007 @10:43AM (#18972429)
    *My* biggest question is "What are these kids actually going to DO with these computers anyway?" The sort of starry-eyed idealistic answer given by OLPC is basically "They're going to use educational software to learn, use the internet to better themselves, etc."

    But take a hard, realistic look at countries like Nigeria and THEIR experience [cnn.com] with an impoverished population gaining access to the internet. When poor Nigerians got access to the internet, they didn't use it to primarily to better themselves--they used it to set up scams, relay points for identity theft, etc.

    When you give a truly impoverished kid a computer, it's very nice to think "Well, he'll use that to go through years of education to get a job in a country where even IT professionals make a pittance." But, more likely, he'll see the MUCH more provocative possibility of using it to scam and steal from those with VASTLY greater resources than he has (i.e., us in the first world) with relative ease.

    Even if he can just scam, spam, and ID theft his way into $40 a week, it's more than enough to bribe local authorities to look the other way, feed his whole family, and buy himself access to a world which was way beyond his reach before. To him that's a good thing. To the rest of the world, it's a huge pain in the ass. In a way, it's a warped way of leveling the playing field and "redistributing wealth," but definitely NOT in the way the OLPC expects.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @11:25AM (#18973151) Homepage
    What is the people receiving these machines don't have this ridiculous bias towards Windows?
  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:39PM (#18975411)

    I use Linux exclusively at home. My wife, who is very far from being a computer geek, uses it for her everyday tasks, and she almost never notices the difference.

    So, for the majority of people, what's so special about Windows that will give them soooo much competitive advantage if they learn it instead of other platform?

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