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Portables Education Microsoft Operating Systems Software Hardware

OLPC, Microsoft Working Toward Dual-Boot XO Laptops 231

Ian Lamont writes "The OLPC Project and Microsoft are developing a dual-boot system to put both Linux and Windows on the laptops, according to an interview with Nicholas Negroponte. The article is thin on details, as the OLPC/Microsoft talks are apparently at an early stage. Could this be the end of the OS wars in Nigeria and other developing countries?" While Microsoft has been working on an OLPC-capable version of Windows for some time now, the interesting thing here is the dual-booting provision, rather than forcing users into an either-or choice.
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OLPC, Microsoft Working Toward Dual-Boot XO Laptops

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  • by anandpur ( 303114 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @04:53PM (#21974260)
    Where is MS's "trade secret" agreement with Dell etc. that prohibits them from give option for other OS while selling MS Windows. They can sell different Ubuntu and Vista laptops/desktop but you can not choose between either OS on same laptop/desktop.

    MS need dual boot on OLPC!
  • by Minstrel Boy ( 787690 ) <kevin_stevens@hotmail.com> on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @04:56PM (#21974308)
    Even without the developer key to unlock OpenFirmware, the XO design supports booting an alternate OS by holding down a button during startup. I have Debian installed on mine.

  • by jea6 ( 117959 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @05:01PM (#21974388)
    My boss got an XO through the B1G1 program and I found that it ran slowly. Can a stripped down version of XP perform reasonably on a platform that isn't designed for it?
  • by xgr3gx ( 1068984 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @05:08PM (#21974500) Homepage Journal
    OLPC-capable version of Windows = Windows 2000
  • by haroldag ( 962342 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @05:30PM (#21974896)
    Excuse me, but I am confused. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olpc [wikipedia.org]

    OLPC espouses five core principles:
    1. Child ownership
    2. Low ages. The hardware and software are designed for elementary school children aged 6-12.
    3. Saturation
    4. Connection
    5. Free and open source
    How is this free and open source? Are these principles that flexible?
  • by sracer ( 534850 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @05:53PM (#21975284)
    Why not? Most of those posting anti-MS comments seem to think that if any version of Windows makes it to the XO, then MS will completely control the whole shebang. For some reason I don't think that would happen with OLPC. And as much as many applaud the selection of Linux as the underlying OS, I think that GEOS would've been better. I'm trying to get DOS booted on my XO to see how Geoworks Ensemble (or New Deal Office) would run. Performance-wise, it should run MORE swiftly than WinXP does on the latest and greatest hardware.
  • Re:Delusional (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @05:56PM (#21975340)
    for a good example of this, there was the Thailand laptop deal. In that, HP was providing Thailand with inexpensive laptops with Linux and OSS on it and the government was providing them cheaply to the public. This was such a hit that HP could not keep up with the orders and so Dell was brought in. Microsoft caught wind of this and contacted the Thai government. Soon after, Linux and OSS was replace with a crippled version of Windows and MS Office at what was claimed to $3/laptop. There was likely also provided some millions in donated training by Microsoft or something like that to help fund this shift.

    So yup, Microsoft's involvement is only reactionary because the project leveraged the cost savings and efficiencies of Linux and OSS. From what I've heard, even the Bill/Melinda Gates Foundation computer donations come with restrictions on usage of Linux and OSS. So they still want Linux and OSS destroyed and helping kids is only PR. IMO.

  • by webmaster404 ( 1148909 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @06:14PM (#21975592)
    Why not? Most of those posting anti-MS comments seem to think that if any version of Windows makes it to the XO, then MS will completely control the whole shebang.

    But isn't that what MS has done with computers until 2 or so years ago? Until 2 years ago or so, it was nearly impossible to go to a major manufacturer such as Dell and the like and get a computer with a non-MS OS on it. Whats to say that the OLPC won't turn out this way? With Intel leaving, OLPC needs cash, MS has a lot of cash, if MS for the next model of computers by the OLPC decide to pay OLPC say 50 million if they ship with Windows CE on them rather then Linux, how are they to complain? It always starts out small with MS, then before any non-geek knows it, MS controls it. If OLPC turns to MS, you can bet that freedom will get restricted.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @06:59PM (#21976210)
    Fools! Nice idea while it lasted! Maybe it isn't too late, someone who works there might be reading this thread..

    Hey, dumbass OLPC guys! Ya, YOU! Go back in history and look at MS and what happens to other companies that have anything to do with them, take yer time....

    Seen enough? It ain't too late, tell em to buzz off before they infect and infest you with non fixable expensive cooties. Guess what, you ain't special, I don't care how leet you think you are, there is no way to avoid the poisonous toxic taint of those criminal bozos once you climb into bed with them. Ever watch Charlie Brown going to kick the football with Lucy holding it? That's you as Charlie Brown, Lucy is Microsoft, and the football-the laptop project- will become hers once she gets her hands on it and you'll just fall flat on your ass after being hoodwinked. That is the only track record MS has for anyone to look at, take it as reality.. If you want another story, the tale of the scorpion trying to get across the river. MS as a corporation was born, run in the past and continues to run in the present as a pure predatory exploitative cut throat, fuck everyone else, lie through their teeth old robber baron styled monopoly. That is their full complete business model.
  • Re:Delusional (Score:2, Interesting)

    by callmetheraven ( 711291 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:03PM (#21979124)
    If you've read the specs on the XO machines, you know that they're about as powerful as a mainstream desktop machine in about 1998.

    Can you imagine how well M$'s uber-bloat OS's will run on these little boxen? If you asked me, let M$ put Windows on the XO, so that all the little children of the world can see that it's such a resource hog it converts your neato XO into a thrashing paperweight.
  • Re:Delusional (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jackhidary ( 1216600 ) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @03:34AM (#21980958)
    I am lucky enough to have one of the new XO laptops from olpc. this device is nothing short of revolutionary. more thoughtful design went into this object than the boeing 777. it is not just about the hardware. this software -with its many opportunities for kids to program and experiment - will lead to even further innovation. intel is acting like a lumbering elephant in its heavy-footed approach on this. sad but predictable. as for msft and the dual boot concept - i guarantee that kids will try windows once and reject it as slow, ponderous and inflexible. when you see the software on the linux boot you will not want to go back.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.