ZDNet UK reports Microsoft and the One Laptop Per Child Foundation made a joint announcement Thursday that they will indeed build XO Laptops featuring the Windows XP operating system. Rumors about XP-based XOs began circulating some time ago, and they resurfaced last month as OLPC representatives indicated the project might abandon Linux.
The first XOs with Windows XP will be offered in a limited number of markets in June, the story says, "with a broader release" later. OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte says of the change:
We view it as a major opportunity for OLPC to expand and expand in a couple of ways. One is to have a broader acceptance in the community and the other is to have more software and software developers available.
In fact, in some countries the XO's ability to run Windows is a requirement. Uruguay, for example, wouldn't consider buying them if they did not. And though the first XOs to be shipped with XP will not have dual boot capability, Negroponte also indicates the project is not giving up on Linux, but will still use both operating systems.