Microsoft seals the deal with OLPC

After much negotiations, and countless rumors, it is now official: OLPC's XO Laptop, will now be offered with Windows XP.

Sales of the laptop will be offered to some countries in June, and a larger scale release shortly after. Running Windows on the OLPC however, will not have the same "ease" of use. On Linux, the XO has an interface named "Sugar", which is a custom GUI to give children a friendly computer environment. Plans have been made to port the interface over to Windows, however due to complications, it could take some time.

An important question to ask ourselves is: For a laptop aimed for children in developing countries, is XP the better choice?

"When I talk to people and tell them we can run Windows, they are very impressed. You pass a sort of virility test."
said OLPC's founder, Nicholas Negroponte.

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.

This subject can spark some interesting conversation. I'd like to hear your comments Neowin!

View: news.com

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(markjensen said @ #2.1)
I don't see how the OS matters for dedicated learning machines. While it is nice that they can run XP for those clueless in charge of education that mandate the use of Windows, it is not required for learning. We aren't talking PCs capable of running AutoCAD or other "desktop" type apps. And, as the article states, the Windows on it would have to be modified because the UI needs "ease of use" adjustment - porting sugar to it may be needed.

I *FEEL*, after all my years in IT (20) that once users get used to a certain process/pattern it is difficult, NOT impoosible, just difficult to get them to learn the new patterns. However, this is just my observations, not an absolute reality. In fact you make a good point of MS having to scale back the interface. So, I guess all I care about is that these get made and out to those who need them, reguardless of the OS.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Peace,
James

(jameswjrose said @ #2.2)
I *FEEL*, after all my years in IT (20) that once users get used to a certain process/pattern it is difficult, NOT impoosible, just difficult to get them to learn the new patterns.
This is true. That's why it was important for Microsoft to get these children hooked on using Windows at an early age. The sad thing is, a lot of people will probably think MS are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.

(Borbus said @ #2.3)
This is true. That's why it was important for Microsoft to get these children hooked on using Windows at an early age. The sad thing is, a lot of people will probably think MS are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.

Ok, yea that's funny. That is, thinking ANY company does, well, ANYTHING, for the goodness. It's about making money to survive. Sad that this is the way it all works. (truely)

Whoa! Are you trying to call for a flame war or something? :P Well FYI, I refuse to go back to a Windows-based computer, as the Mac satisfies my needs better and I always advocated that users try out alternatives and then decide which is better for them.

(MulletRobZ said @ #3.2)
Whoa! Are you trying to call for a flame war or something? :P Well FYI, I refuse to go back to a Windows-based computer, as the Mac satisfies my needs better and I always advocated that users try out alternatives and then decide which is better for them.

Why why why does it always lead to Mac? Why? Are you that desperate and in love with Mac that when Windows is mentioned you have to creep in a Mac?

Anyone got a life for sale?

Well, let's see... how many people have XP now?

And how old is this technology now?

And finally, is it on the store shelves right now?

The answer is:

-A vast majority of computer users and businesses
-Over 5 years
-Yes, go out and buy it if you want it so bad.

SUGAR!

Anywho, I don't like this at all. What, development had a little bit to go, not much. Now M$ took it over and are making people wait longer, because they need those kids. They need them hooked. It's like high traffic drug dealing to kids.

/rant


Whatever keeps them in business, I guess.

Wow, indeed.

Someone voices an opinion that has a negative view of a company.

And they get jumped all over upon, as an individual, in a mocking attack.

Good going.

Thank goodness. Now we can get Nigerian scam e-mails from children...using Windows XP, so that they can do it more effectively on real machines once they can afford them.

What? Bad OLPC, bad!

C'mon guys, the idea was to have an open piece of kit which kids can use and explore!

If you really wanted to introduce a proprietary OS for some highly bizarre reason, should've gone with Mac OS X. Steve offered it to you guys for free, why didn't you take it?

:(

Too bad, just furthers Microsofts huge market share further. With Linux on the OLPC, they could support it as long as they needed to, but with XP, it just won't last as long. These laptops will be around for a long time, since it will be a while before many of the kids using them will have the money or opportunity or need to replace them.

These kids are destitute. I don't think they'll be whining about a lack of support from microsoft. They're lucky to get anything at all.

Oh yeah, we are governed by morons :)
Every day more ashamed from my government... I don't even get the point, we will be having a coding weekend tomorrow+sunday down here in Uruguay (the "Ceibal Jam", you can read about that around various news sources) specifically to refresh our Python, learn about Sugar and get in touch with the environment, followed by a hands-on session to develop a simple application.

So yeah, let's build apps for a system some moron decided we don't need anymore.
I heavily doubt a port of Sugar in windows will be the same, unless they end virtualizing almost every part of the system, for which the base OS will be of no difference (making pointless the shift from Linux to XP)

I think this is a great idea. Windows is the most used OS, so IMO, it's best for the kids out there to get to grips with Windows. XP is probably the least intensive OS you can get today (I might be wrong, compared with a few Linux distros).

My own view on this is, great! Now the third world will be lured in by the same crack dealers we here in the first world have all whored ourselves to, and the mental slavery we daily experience and don't recognise as such will go global. Why should those poor pathetic diseased hungry and thirsty dirt-poor thirdworld people be given a chance at freedom when we don't have it?

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