OLPC laptop gets a Windows makeover

On the outside, the Windows version of the XO laptop looks just like the Linux model. But simply booting up the device shows the Windows version bears little resemblance to the original One Laptop per Child device. The Microsoft version offers Windows, and can run basically any software that can adjust itself to the mini-laptop's diminutive screen and modest processor.

Microsoft has managed to slim down the OS enough to boot up off a 2GB flash memory card and has written drivers for a number of the XO laptop's unique features, such as its scratch pad, game controller, and built-in camera.

The Linux model comes with an integrated suite of educational games, programming tools, and other software, all built around a kid-friendly OS shell known as Sugar. The Windows version of the XO doesn't have so much of that child-orientated personality — although a child-orientated programming tool known as Scratch did survive the Linux-to-Windows switch. But having Windows allows students to take advantage not only of Microsoft's dominant Office suite, but of all the educational software that has already been written for Windows.

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