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Microsoft Portables The Almighty Buck Education Hardware

OLPC to Run Windows, Come to the US 350

Posted by Zonk
from the gone-a-little-bit-off-course-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Yesterday Nicholas Negroponte, former director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and current head of the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child project, gave analysts and journalists an update on the OLPC project. Two big changes were announced — the $100 OLPC is now the $175 OLPC, and it will be able to run Windows. Even in a market where there are alternatives to using Windows and Office, there's a huge demand for Microsoft software. The OLPC was seen as a way for open source Linux distributions to achieve massive exposure in developing countries, but now Negroponte says that the OLPC machine will be able to run Windows as well as Linux. Details are sketchy but Negroponte did confirm that the XO's developers have been working with Microsoft to get the OLPC up to spec for Windows.' We also find out that the OLPC gets a price hike and will officially come to the US. Could this be tied into Microsoft's new $3 Windows XP Starter and Office 2007 bundle? Now that the OLPC and Intel's Classmate PC can both run Windows, is Linux in the developing world in trouble?"
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OLPC to Run Windows, Come to the US

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  • by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:15AM (#18910601) Homepage Journal
    I guess Bill Gates is going to stop criticizing the project now that it supports Windows...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by goombah99 (560566)
      Bill will love the market share. But he may not like the rampant virus incubator that is created. 30 million unpatched copies of Windows are going to be 15 million more bots. Windows might get a black eye.
  • by Marcion (876801) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:16AM (#18910603) Homepage Journal
    Now the system has 256MB of Ram and a slightly better processor, so yes it could now run Windows in theory. However as they always say, this is an educational project not a laptop project, and they are of course going to go with the stunning Sugar interface.

    The dollar has fallen in value quite a lot, next month we'll no doubt see $250 OLPC if it keeps slipping.
    • Why 256Mb? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:48AM (#18910751)
      I still have a 1999 vintage Sony Vaio laptop with 64Mb RAM and 333MHz Pentium II running Linux with Kde version 2. It runs fine, at about 1kg weight it's an excellent machine for its original purpose. I also have a 1996 model Acer laptop with 16Mb RAM and a 166MHz Pentium CPU running Slackware with a fvwm GUI.


      Unless they can offer those 256Mb of RAM at a lower price than a smaller memory, it's a waste of resources. Better make an effort to lower that price than try to make it run windows. What next, the $999 OLPC to run a $300 Vista Starter Edition?

      • by QuantumG (50515)
        How big is the harddrive in that brick?

      • Re:Why 256Mb? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Marcion (876801) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:59AM (#18910807) Homepage Journal
        Until last year I had 64MB and 200MHz Pentium I, however I used the command line and Emacs/Lynx/Mutt/Mplayer/Python etc which are all written in C and optimised for that, I was also running Gentoo (compiled by a bigger machine over the network) to squeeze out all the unneeded compile options etc.

        The OLPC are using GTK+ and want to be able to run a Mozilla based browser and Java and so on and have a high quality, child-focused, graphical experience, so 128MB is a minimum really, plus there is no graphics chip so you will need a certain extra amount to draw X etc. My new Macbook has a similar setup and does not take more than 80MB, at least on Linux.
        • Re:Why 256Mb? (Score:4, Informative)

          by dhasenan (758719) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @10:08AM (#18911431)
          The OLPC interface was optimized for the machine. From the screenshots I saw, it didn't take up much space with textures and such; just about everything could be drawn with a minimal amount of SVG, which means you can spend slightly more CPU time and save on RAM.

          Also most of the applications are more or less custom, designed or modified to save on RAM and CPU time. Windows XP...could be, but I somehow doubt it would be that easy. If they said it was based on Windows Mobile, I'd be less skeptical.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        OEMs do not pay anything close to the retail price for Windows. The Starter Edition might not cost $50 each, though a system powerful enough to run Vista acceptably should be left to the existing market.

        256MB may be the new minimum memory module for mass production. Which is fine, if the marginal cost is low enough. Usually, at the low end, there is a minimum where going below that isn't worth it because you make massive sacrifices to save a tiny percentage of money. There's little point in saving a pal
      • Windows supported now that they've increased processor power, and doubled RAM and Flash? WTF, they are falling for Microsofts tricks. This raises the price and delays the product launch so that Micrsoft has time to get its marketing team out there and either buy out prospective customers of OLPC or sells them on how a WindowsPC is better for their future with some kind of 'training' or kickback deal.

        Sorry but this device does not need to run Windows and I'd already heard previously that the OLPC project ha
      • Re:Why 256Mb? (Score:4, Informative)

        by evilviper (135110) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:03PM (#18913581) Journal

        I still have a 1999 vintage Sony Vaio laptop with 64Mb RAM and 333MHz Pentium II running Linux with Kde version 2.

        Yes, but you, no doubt, have a swap partition when RAM gets full. If you were running off of a small amount of Flash storage instead, you'd have real problems.

        Not to mention that the power requirements for your laptop is more than an order of magnitude higher than the OLPC, and yet you probably don't have a WiFi router card in your notebook.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by at_slashdot (674436)
      Which Windows, XP? Wasn't Microsoft supposed to cease "manufacturing" XP by the end of this year? Even XP is a dog on 256MB or RAM I want to see how they will put Vista on that, and if they want to stick with XP what's the support plan for XP?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jeffrey Baker (6191)
      The dollar has fallen quite a lot? Most of the components in the OLPC are from China or USA. Over the last two years the dollar has lost a whopping 6.6% against the yuan. So I seriously doubt that FX has been a major factor in the OLPC price.
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:20AM (#18910621) Homepage
    You know what's next ... the XO's in the real field [e.g. 3rd world nations] will start shipping with Windows instead of their OSS tools.

    Yeah, MSFT won again!

    I wonder how much it cost MSFT to buy them off....

    Tom
    • Not News (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kripkenstein (913150)
      This is not news, despite the Slashdot headline and the ZDNet blog saying otherwise. Quite a while back we already heard [slashdot.org] from Negroponte that they had given some OLPC hardware to Microsoft, and that Microsoft was working on getting Windows to work on it. So this is not news in the simplest possible sense. Did anyone doubt that Microsoft would succeed in getting Windows to work on an OLPC? Of course not.

      The question is not whether the OLPC can run Windows. The question is what OS will actually be used, wh
      • Re:Not News (Score:5, Interesting)

        by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:56AM (#18910795) Homepage Journal
        The news is that Microsoft couldn't get Windows to run on it without getting the OLPC project to increase their hardware specs, and instead of just telling Microsoft to go jump, they compromised and now the laptop is going to cost more.

        I said 'the news' there.. I guess I really should say 'the spin'.

        • The news is that Microsoft couldn't get Windows to run on it without getting the OLPC project to increase their hardware specs, and instead of just telling Microsoft to go jump, they compromised and now the laptop is going to cost more.
          I may be getting dyslexic in my old age, but I don't see that in any of TFAs. Can you supply a quote? Yes, the price is going up, but because of Microsoft?
          • Re:Not News (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2007 @08:53AM (#18911055)
            The price has gone up because the memory and drive space have mysteriously doubled from 128MB to 256MB and 512MB to 1GB, respectively.
            • by Lehk228 (705449)
              that increase in memory will also be very useful on the linux side.

              also sinc ethe machines support both, people will be able to really compare linux and windows and see what a hog windows is.
              • Re:Not News (Score:5, Insightful)

                by pallmall1 (882819) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @10:55AM (#18911683)

                that increase in memory will also be very useful on the linux side.
                How useful is the corresponding price increase?

                Negroponte has screwed open source by nearly doubling the OLPC price so it can run Windows. He's just back-stabbed all the people who donated a lot of time and effort into putting together a low cost laptop and the free as in speech software to run it.

                The OLPC project is now dead, just like every other venture that capitulates with Microsoft.
                • Re:Not News (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by Dhalka226 (559740) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @11:49AM (#18911955)

                  Wow. Imagine my surprise to find slashdotters who think the most important part of making a semi-affordable laptop for poor children living in third world countries is that it promotes open source.

                  I don't really buy the "wow, 128 extra megs of RAM and 512MB more hard disk space--THEY'RE SLEEPING WITH MICROSOFT!" nonsense. I could buy the parts for that RETAIL and not pay an extra $75, with the exception that probably nobody bothers to sell that kind of super-low-end hardware anymore.

                  More likely, they had a goal of $100 laptop and have realized that manufacturing isn't cheap. Costs run up all the time in projects of any scope. They've said all along that they expect the price to come down each year; that's an effect of manufacturing, not a magical "Microsoft tax" that apparently would only apply for one year.

                  • Re:Not News (Score:4, Interesting)

                    by shish (588640) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:13PM (#18913639) Homepage

                    "wow, 128 extra megs of RAM and 512MB more hard disk space--THEY'RE SLEEPING WITH MICROSOFT!" nonsense

                    Links to microsoft aren't being drawn simply because they've upped the hardware, but because they've upped the hardware from "enough to give the kids a functional laptop" to "enough to run windows"

                  • And so they increased the specs to make it more expensive? The most important thing about this was that it was cheap and reliable. Moving to Windows is a step back on both fronts.
                  • I expect there are many people who have contributed in some way to OLPC because they see this as an OSS project with a good cause.

                    Now that it is also going to be a vector for the Windows cancer will surely leave many people feeling violated. I know I do, and my contribution was tiny compatred with others.

                    I really believe that OLPC could be way better if it did not have to support Windows. For example, using an ARM instead of an x86 would have reduced cost and power consuumption.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by westlake (615356)
                  Negroponte has screwed open source by nearly doubling the OLPC price so it can run Windows. He's just back-stabbed all the people who donated a lot of time and effort into putting together a low cost laptop and the free as in speech software to run it.

                  OLPC is low-cost only if it can be produced and sold in the tens of millions of units. If open source can't deliver those millions today - when they are needed most - the problem isn't with Negroponte and the problem isn't with Windows.

                  There is nothing in O

      • Re:Not News (Score:5, Informative)

        by niiler (716140) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @10:05AM (#18911419) Journal
        Wired.com has the update here [wired.com]:

        OLPC spokesman Kyle Austin says the wire services got it wrong. In response to a request from Microsoft, the project gave Redmond some early demo models of the XO to play with -- but that was over a year ago. "Their developers are toying with it," Austin told Wired News editor Kevin Poulsen.

        OLPC hasn't changed the XO's design to support Windows, and has no formal partnership with Microsoft, he says.

        So as often happens, the story is more sensationalist than anything else.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Locutus (9039)
          it was already publicly stated that the SD slot was added at Microsofts request. And "no formal partnership" does not mean that they haven't started falling for Microsofts tricks. It appears their scheme of bloating the OLPC project into extinction is well on its way. Get a clue folks, Microsoft wants OLPC gone if it's not running Windows. Period. IMO

          LoB
    • >[e.g. 3rd world nations] will start shipping with Windows instead of their OSS tools.

      Well since the laptop is built with a custom OpenFirmware and a LinuxBios (kernel on the firmware), how are they going to boot Windows exactly?
      • Um you realize that otherwise it's a fairly standard PC setup right? They could just reflash the bios with a PC compatible bios.

        Tom
        • by Marcion (876801)
          So you have bought a small BIOS, adding to the cost and reflashed it. Now you also need to get Marvell to provide a driver for the Mesh wireless chip on Windows too, then get that signed by Microsoft, then make sure the trendy new screen works, then you have to get Windows and the Applications within the 1GB flash drive, then you have to sort the keymap out, because it has its own custom layout.

          Why would you even bother? If you want a Dell then buy a Dell.
          • Why would you even bother?

            Maybe you wouldn't bother. But Microsoft would.
            If they have enough money to laugh at EU's face and keep paying their fine instead of opening their standards, they can afford paying for the whole development, then paying for the rights on the BIOS and the drivers, and then bundle them together with the Windows Starter+Office package for a couple of dollars.

            They can even pay some people in their R&D department to make sure that the whole thing can actually work (won't be too much

      • by Lennie (16154)
        I've heard LinuxBios can boot Windows
  • Come on (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chuckymonkey (1059244)
    I get the feeling sometimes that the heads at M$ have a robber baron complex. They stole ideas and software so much that they feel bad and try to give back somehow as well as force their crap on unsuspecting indiginous peoples. I just don't think that this is necessarily a good venue for them. First I think that it'll actually degrade the performance of the machine and what happens when all these machines get out in the world and they mesh network a virus? (if this doesn't make much sense please break ou
  • Another thought (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chuckymonkey (1059244)
    I know I just posted a second ago but I also had a thought. Is M$ maybe trying to get all these people using and programming with Windows so that they can set up Developer sweatshops similar to clothing lines? I do remember some exec saying at one time something about developers developers developers........ *stares stupidly at chair flying towards head*
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      Shya. Microsoft is one of the few companies that still does all their development in the USA. Of course, they import people on H1B visas to do the work, but they do it in Redmond.

  • just because it *can* run Windows? As in, just the possibility upsets you? Folks, get some perspective will ya'?
    • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:47AM (#18910749) Homepage
      The problem is people like me fear that OLPC was bought off, and that the promise of a really open and accessible laptop for students has died.

      You think it's hard to get proper tech support in the 1st world? Try it in a field school somewhere 500 miles away from the nearest large city. Running windows as opposed to the hardened linux they were developing is just inviting every random malware and virus to hop a ride through their laptops rendering them useless.

      Also a lot of the innovative features like the grouping and shared sessions [as well as tailor made games/activities] probably won't be ported [or well] to Windows, leaving the kids with a really large lack of useful software.

      Tom
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:34AM (#18910683) Journal
    > but now Negroponte says that the OLPC machine will be able to run Windows as well as Linux.

    Not surprising that Negroponte changed his mind. Waking up and finding that chair in his bed must have really rattled him.

  • Now that the OLPC and Intel's Classmate PC can both run Windows, is Linux in the developing world in trouble?

    In trouble of what. It had very low desktop market share and will continue to have low market share. Not exactly a "trouble", not a victory either.

    If "Vista Capable" level of compatibility is what we should expect from an OLPC running XP starter edition, I think Linux will prevail.

    While I'm a strong supporter of Windows versus Linux as a desktop client (as Linux simply has too many logistical and usa
  • by nietsch (112711) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:35AM (#18910689) Homepage Journal
    If MS can charge $3 for their software, but in other venues charge more then 300 for nearly the same, can that be considered as anti-competitive dumping?
    Let's just hope that the next US government will break up Bills empire and throw the upper management in jail.

    If the price rises $75, that can be considered a $75 windos tax, that is 42%!
  • Of course the laptop can't run Vista. That's a hilarious suggestion. It would never work.

    Microsoft aren't going to ship an ancient unsupported distribution (98, 2000), which leaves only versions of XP. XP was first sold in 2001, and Microsoft intend it to be usurped by this years Vista. Production of XP is due to be phased out in 2008 (that's next year folks), and retail and OEM licenses won't be available from January 31, 2008 (that's nine months away) according to their following page:
    http://www.microsoft [microsoft.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by XScB (240898)
      C'mon. The OLPC is not a conventional PC nor notebook lacking a colour LCD, and a harddisk. This is going to be an embedded variant of Windows, with different features dropped.

      Either Embedded Windows XP, or much, much more likely, Windows CE. And they'll still have to up the hw spec.
  • by HerbieStone (64244) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @08:15AM (#18910875) Homepage
    From here [laptop.org] and here [laptop.org]

    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 pla (258480) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:08AM (#18911137) Journal
      The death of Linux on OLPC is greatly exaggerated

      I think you missed the bigger implication here...

      None of us care if Billy G sells a crippled, OLPC-specific version of XP dirt-cheap, in a desperate bid to promote Windows adoption in the 3rd world. Exposing people to "Starter Edition" would most likely do more to promote Linux use than compete with it.

      Given the price and specs change, and Microsoft's announcement of "embracing" the OLPC, some of us can't help but but 2 and 2 together and get 4. A decent Linux system doesn't need 256MB, while XP can barely run its own Explorer interface, much less any additional programs (and I wouldn't even want to try any of the Office apps such as Word) on anything less.



      As the biggest issue here, you need to look at this from two perspectives - Ours, as (most likely) middle-class geeks posting from a Western nation viewing this as a really cool (and still exceedingly cheap) compromise between a palmheld and a laptop and cheap enough to consider nearly disposeable; And a third-world school looking at a total budget of $150 per year, trying to decide if they should buy an OLPC or rebuild the school that washed away in the annual spring mudslide.

      Cheap toys vs still-expensive tools.



      And lest you take that as baseless speculation, "However, Negroponte disclosed that XO's developers have been working with Microsoft Corp. so a version of Windows can run on the machines as well". No, not a "side effect". Boost the specs and boost the price just so Microsoft can play along.

      I wonder how much Nick Negroponte's soul cost Mr. Gates...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by evilviper (135110)

        A decent Linux system doesn't need 256MB,

        Yes it does. The OLPC doesn't have a hard drive, and so, no swap partition to offload less recently used data, when you're getting low on RAM. Get a few apps running at once, especially with a memory-heavy, interpreted language like Python, and your 128MB of RAM will be full in no time, and applications will start crashing.

    • by Jeremy_Bee (1064620) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @10:22AM (#18911513)

      From here [laptop.org] and here [laptop.org]

      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.
      This statement makes no sense, (and the whole adoption of Windows argument Negroponte is using), in the context of the fact that Apple offered to give them a version of OS-X for the thing for FREE at the very beginning.

      Apple was turned down on the basis that the laptop was all about the special open sourced based software. Now all of a sudden it's about that, but it's okay if it costs 75% more and runs a cut-rate version of Vista.

      On the surface, it seems like Negroponte was certainly co-opted by Microsoft.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lost Race (681080)
        Maybe I'm dense, but I can't see the connection between the quotes and your response. Negroponte insists that the platform is open, and that all software included will be open. This means third-party developers cannot be prohibited from developing non-open software for it -- Microsoft (and Apple) are apparently doing so. The fact that the project turned down Apple has nothing to do with expense but with licensing, which is exactly the same reason they would turn down a similar offer from Microsoft. Noth
  • by Etherwalk (681268) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @08:21AM (#18910905)
    > is Linux in the developing world in trouble?"

    Twelve hundred children an hour die, largely in said world, and mostly preventable deaths. (Source: UNICEF). That's things like malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, etc...

    No offense meant, but can you imagine how much we shouldn't care what kind of operating system these countries are using? There are bigger problems to worry about.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am using the olpc xo. (that is the name of the computer). The hardware is truly revolutionary. It is NOT just a small laptop, it is more rugged than a toughbook and as cute as an aibo. I have seen its effect on children. They immediately love it and treat it like a pet. (anthropomorphism?)

    It is also a full on computer with a fantastic screen.

    I am glad to see the opening of the hardware to other operating systems. The hardware needs to be commercially available so us geek developers can extend the software
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People seem to be wondering about Vista/XP/98. What about CE? It should run just fine on the OLPC.
  • Thank you Microsoft.

    Due to your intervention, the same village will now receive 40% less laptops for the same budget, and experience viruses, BSOD's and Windows bit-rot.

    They will become educated in the three R's (Reboot, Reinstall, Reformat and these devices don't come with CD drives).

    Of course, you are going to ensure that the 'productivity' software is fully 'compatible' with the Linux software, aren't you.

    But at least you won't get any competition from any emerging 3rd world IT industries, eh? Because de
  • Congratulations (Score:4, Informative)

    by Vexorian (959249) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @08:58AM (#18911089)
    I'd like to congratulate this project for becoming a total failure.

    I live in a third world country, let me say this: 175 $us is too expensive, that 75% more actually means a reduction in possible buyers by 90% (Although this statistic is totally made up, I am pretty sure this is the case, let's say 85%~95%), as a matter of fact, here it is possible to get a 'real' computer (Pentium I, which is enough for a child's computer, did you know?) for 150$us.

    And all of this so it can run windows...
  • by gelfling (6534) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:07AM (#18911133) Homepage Journal
    If MS came out and said there's now a way to run Windows on the cheapest lowest powered laptop you can find. Sorry about that massive investment you wasted.
  • It always has been, pirating what the rest of the world uses is cheaper then trying something 'different'.

    Not saying its the better choice, but its the 'cheaper' one in the long run if you want to compete.
  • the price is too high, might as well go hunt for a second-hand laptop now...

    regular books (made of paper) is more plausible anyway, they don't need electricity and they don't BSOD...

    the original idea of a low cost laptop thingy for third-world children was a good idea, but this has turned in to a commercialized mess, whats next the price going up to 599USD? product activation? these people royally screwed this up maybe beyond repair, the KISS philosophy is needed here more than ever...
  • by Wonderkid (541329) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:26AM (#18911235) Homepage
    The brilliance of the OLPC project is the almost crash proof simplicity of the product. A fresh start. For anyone who has used a (now defunct) Psion Organiser, one of the easiest to use and reliable (albiet unconnected) PDAs ever launched anywhere in the world, a user friendly stable GUI is what empowers people to focus on the task at hand, not the device. Think Toaster, Microwave or iPod. As a Mac user who has just spent two weeks playing with Vista, I wish to state as a software designer that MS products are a hindrance, not a tool for productivity. The majority of the world's greatest structures (Pyramids, Empire State Building, every (old) cathedral and church) ever build were designed and constructed before computers using intuitive tools - paper and pen(cil). Windows, and even OSX is a barrier to true creativity and expression. The unique GUI of the OLPC was a fantastic opportunity to start afresh and empower people who have never touched a computer before. Now all these people will do is send emails and run spreadsheets. How exciting. How original. How inspiring. Not. A sad sad day. I think it's time I got back together with my industrial designer and created an OLPC that meets the original vision of NN at MiT. Watch this space. (www.owonder.com)
  • by hhcv (1094593) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:51AM (#18911371)
    I though Bill Gates wanted to stop the spread of viruses in the third world?
  • Wow... No OS X? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toQDuj (806112) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @10:07AM (#18911421) Homepage Journal
    They might as well have gone with Mac OS X then. I remember Jobs offering to give Mac OS X for free for installation on the OLPC's. At least that'd have been a proper OS.

    I believe that Negroponte refused, with the argument that he wanted a truly open OS. Now they've gone with windows, I think his mind must be slipping..

    B.
    • Re:Wow... No OS X? (Score:4, Informative)

      by TeknoHog (164938) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @11:51AM (#18911969) Homepage Journal

      I believe that Negroponte refused, with the argument that he wanted a truly open OS. Now they've gone with windows, I think his mind must be slipping..

      In the great Slashdot tradition, I didn't read the article, but I got the impression that the OLPC will still be preinstalled with the tailor-made Linux distro. The ability to install Windows or whatever OS doesn't preclude this.

  • by arse maker (1058608) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @10:36AM (#18911577)
    Slashdot contributers are mostly above average people but this same topic keeps cropping up. No company is a single faceted thing, if someone does something it not for a good or bad purpose soley, such a single sided idea from even an individual is hard to come by. If I want pizza tonight, is it soley a hommage to my love of Italy? Because I like take away food? Because its good value food? Because I feel like oily food? Because I saw Nicole Richie and figured if I can still see my penis when I look down maybe im too thin too? You can argue any number of them and they could all be true, even I wouldnt know the one reason why. Just because Microsoft dominates the market with aggressive tactics doesn't mean its not partially a good will thing. You can hardly say bill gates doesn't give back to the community, I don't know any other billionaire that's so altruistic, how much does jobs donate? If its a move to secure Microsoft's position as the most popular OS world wide, then of course that what they should do, that's what any company would do. Isn't the Linux community looking at the OLPC project as a platform to spread Linux? The one upside to Windows is that it will allow them to run software 90-95% of desktop users can run, having Linux on most the developing worlds computers but not on the developed is almost like a barrier they are trying to remove. But in fairness MS should do more to make a cut down version to run, god knows my VM Ware win2k machine boots so fast it makes me wonder what the hell XP and Vista is loading. Dual booted OLPC would be the best middle ground as choice should be something everyone has. Its what I feel the cornerstone of open source software is.
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @11:23AM (#18911847) Homepage
    whatever it was worth... I am from a "3rd world country" a, but a price RAM to increase specs... for Windows?? the fact that this is at least a rumor is a bad side for what was once a purely open initiative - I guess I still wish them luck, but I won't be cheering for them anymore.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @01:40PM (#18912689) Homepage Journal
    Typing in from a country that is stuck amidst 1st world and 3rd world neighbors, and cant decide which category itself falls into, im saying that $175 price tag for OLPC means labeling it as "DEAD" with colorfully lettered stickers.

    even in turkey $175 for such a device is way too much that any family wanting to buy one might ask the supplier whether they will let them pay in installments spreading over 12 or better, 24 months.

    Needless to say that in countries that fall in southern and southeastern directions from turkey, which encompass most of the 3rd world countries, $175 will just make olpc a no gamer.

    evidently someone sold their soul to some bastards. sad to see, as this olpc thing actually had a chance.

    this $175 deal thing is apparently something to enable microsoft to push windows crap on them to third (and second) world so that they will create a userbase and a future upgrade market. if this shit goes through like this,i got to say that, as an it world participant and employee, i will consult anyone and any institution in my area against olpc and ensure i have a hand in its failure. despite i want it to happen very much, better not to happen, than to happen foul.

    maybe everything is not over yet. If olpc contributors reassess the situation and pressurize the leaders, sold souls might be reclaimed, if it is not too late.
  • by feranick (858651) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:19PM (#18913673)
    I'd like to see what RedHat thinks about this. They invest so much in the new interface, and overall OS, with the hope to create something new, and more appropriate for kids, with very innovative features nowhere to be found in conventional PCs (mesh networking, real collaborative activities). Now the OLPC leadership is basically saying: "Sugar is nice, but let's put the old Windows as an alternative, regardless its feasibility in the use in a school environment, after all nobody was ever fired when buying MS products". To me that seems a slap in the faces to RedHat, and ultimately to the kids. This was supposed to be an educational project. As time goes by, it looks more as a business effort to sell dumb computers in developing countries. Nobody talks about content, how to use these things in schools.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pecisk (688001)
      http://www.j5live.com/?p=363 [j5live.com]

      It is not official RedHat statement, but hey, I feel about it the same way.

      XO is open computer as much as you can get these days - everything is open, even spec for firmware of webcam. So why in any way forbird Microsoft to create OS for it?

      Default will stay RedHat + Sugar anyway, and Windows in no way will have tickless kernel, etc. features what is needed to run this box properly, up to specs.

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