OLPC developing dual-boot Windows, Linux OS for laptops

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project and Microsoft Corp. are working together to develop a dual-boot system to put both Linux and Windows on laptops aimed at kids in developing countries, the head of OLPC said in an interview Tuesday. "We are working with them very closely to make a dual-boot system so that, like on an Apple, you can boot either one up. The version that's up and running of Windows on the XO is very fast, it's very, very successful. We're working very hard to do both," said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of OLPC.

It's a brand new development for the XO laptops, as the low-cost notebooks are known, and came about because of Microsoft's friendlier attitude toward open-source software. Microsoft has embraced the open-source community over the past few years in a very different way than before, Negroponte said. "And that really helps, because it's become a little bit less religious than it was a few years ago and that's really good. In the end, I think, the more people that have software and hardware out there, the better."

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17 Comments

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I'm just wondering why any modification has to be done to the laptop. You can already dual boot Windows and Linux with no problems... just install Windows first because its bootloader likes to overwrite everything else automatically. If any modification has to be made, it's with the Windows installer so that it sets up the bootloader properly, or lets you include Windows as an option in other bootloaders. Can't MS just ship an update for this that can be streamlined into current install discs, and make new install media support this option? This would allow for dual-boot support on PCs as well, or are they going to start changing the PC bios to allow you to select which partition you want to boot from now?

plan-9 said,
I dont think this is your standard XP or Vista install. Im sure its quite modified.

Yep, it's a slimmed down version of XP.

I would guess that some educational software developers that develop for Windows only would like to donate license their software to the OLPC project, thus the potential need for an OS like XP Starter Edition.

If they took off Linux on the OLPCs, Mandriva's CEO (?) is going to have a field day of whining in another open letter to MS.

Shane2 said,
For the numerous things that Linux doesn't run overly well and its immense complexity?

Myths. Linux is just a capable as Windows is. The only thing that Windows really has over Linux are games.

(rm20010 said @ #2.1)
If they took off Linux on the OLPCs, Mandriva's CEO (?) is going to have a field day of whining in another open letter to MS. :/

And that's a bad thing? Last time that happened, it actually stopped a very shady deal: http://bigblog.com/web_developer/nigerian-...1170195575.html

Microsoft threw the money at the supplier after it chose Mandriva Linux for 17,000 laptops for school children across Nigeria. The supplier took the bait and agreed to wipe Mandriva off the machines, but now Nigeria's government has stepped in to stop the dirty deal.

If MS was ever doing the right thing, then obviously it would still be pursuing the deal now using every legal avenue to its disposal.

Foub said,
Myths. Linux is just a capable as Windows is. The only thing that Windows really has over Linux are games.

Ok then. Try configuring SLI, Multiple Monitors ETC in Linux and you will find out for yourself how much harder it is. It is also well known that Linux is a lot more command line dependant than Windows, which makes it more user-unfriendly

Shane2 said,
Ok then. Try configuring SLI, Multiple Monitors ETC in Linux and you will find out for yourself how much harder it is.

How about the many, many, many hardware issues in Vista? Remember the Apple ad. "Its not what Vista can do for you, but what you can buy for Vista..."

No, Linux has far fewer problems then it once did. Unlike Windows it gets better with each new version, not bloated with nonsense like Windows.

It is also well known that Linux is a lot more command line dependant than Windows, which makes it more user-unfriendly

Have you actually seem Linux lately?

http://www.esp.eweek.com/article/Myths+Sty...h/220508_1.aspx

i doubt its anythign to do with the kids, its prob just to satisfy MS and linux, remember the linux MS whine about which OS was going to be on it...