OLPC XO and Windows XP Tie Up

May 16th, 2008 at 12:00 am

window and olcpIt’s official, One Laptop  Per Child, a nonprofit project to provide one laptop per child in developing countries, is dropping the Linux-based Sugar OS that used to come with the OLPC-XO ultra portable and  low cost lappie.

"We view it as a major opportunity for OLPC to expand and expand in a couple of ways," OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte told CNET News.com in an interview Thursday. "One is to have a broader acceptance in the community and the other is to have more software and software developers available." [CNET]

Negroponte said the ability to run Windows is a must-have in some countries. For example, he said, Uruguay made it a requirement in its recent solicitation. Even in other countries where Windows is not required, Negroponte said compatibility with the Microsoft operating system still helps give the laptop credibility. [CNET]

Well that’s that.  Microsoft also had some glitches when they first tried to run XP on the designed-for-Linux OLPC machine.

Microsoft’s spent over a year developing specialized drivers for the XO’s various features like e-book mode, the writing pad, and camera.  XP is too big for the built-in 1GB flash chip, so it’ll come preloaded on a 2GB SD card, leaving just about 1.5GB free total for apps and media. [Engadget]

Does this mean that the price of the OLPC would go up?  Actually I would have wanted a generation that wasn’t used to Windows.  That would have been truly revolutionary.