Whether It's OLPC or Eee, Windows XP Will Be There

Kachina Shaw

The fact that Microsoft has been working with the One Laptop Per Child program from the beginning may come as news to many, but OLPC's founder, Nicholas Negroponte, is now speaking more openly about it. Microsoft said last week that it was getting closer to having a stripped-down version of Windows XP ready for the OLPC machines, but is still "at least a few months away."


Negroponte seems to have plenty of patience for the new version of Microsoft's latest cast-off OS, saying in this ZDNet UK piece that "it would be hard for OLPC to say it was 'open' and then be closed to Microsoft. Open means open."


Indeed, all those new Microsoft users, when they receive their computers, can make a choice, since, as this Techtree article explains:

Upon being powered by Windows OS, the laptops would allow their child owners to modify the source code, making them compatible with both Linux and Windows XP.

See? It's open and easy!


Now that all the bad blood between the OLPC project and its open source partners and Microsoft seems to have dissipated, we must ask why.


Perhaps it is because OLPC just is not going to be the only cheapest-of-the-cheap laptop game in town, as much as Negroponte may wish for that to be so and try to make similar projects, such as one led by Intel, look bad.


And that's not all. Asustek's Eee machine, currently loaded with Xandros' Linux OS, will sport Windows XP by the end of this year in Taiwan and worldwide in early 2008, according to this vnunet.com piece. Asustek claims 1 million orders and plans to sell 3 million Eees in 2008, supplying "housewives, the elderly and children," according to CEO Jonney Shih. It is not clear whether the version of XP to be run on these machines is the same stripped-down version planned for the OLPC laptops.


It's not so much of a suprise that Microsoft will play a large part in the movement to get low-cost hardware into emerging markets. What may be interesting is whether it'll extend its sales and support for XP, as a result of its inclusion on these machines and widespread user interest in holding onto XP, rather than upgrading to Windows Vista.

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Oct 29, 2007 4:30 AM Sly Coder Sly Coder  says:
"Upon being powered by Windows OS, the laptops would allow their child owners to modify the source code,..."Really? The Windows OS source code will be made available to all these kids? LOLYou had better check your facts. There's no way this is happening. Reply
Oct 29, 2007 6:15 AM Wayan @ OLPC News Wayan @ OLPC News  says:
Kachina, Please check your facts. There isn't a XP version for OLPC, and there is doubt there ever could be due to the XO's unique features and Open Source design.In addition, Asustek 1 million order claim sounds as fanciful as Negroponte's early million-unit sales declarations - no country has corroborated the initial press release. And no matter what Microsoft does with Vista, its too much code to fit one these smaller machines. Standard XP is even too large for the Eee PC. Reply
Oct 31, 2007 2:09 AM Christopher Christopher  says:
Um apperently, Wayan, you havn't been following Microsoft too closely... They took the vista kernel and stripped it down to run in a whopping 48 mb of ram and could be made smaller and depending on the needs say a graphical environment of this micro kernel would need only 64 mb of ram far under the requirements provided at 256mb by olpc. The XP kernel stripped the same way ran in 16mb of ram and while a graphical enviornment was running 24mbs at the size of get this 25mb os. Far under the 1 gig the olpc is sporting for size. With the number of available apps for XP that makes XP look amazing to these countries... Microsoft back in 2004 also pulled some patends on a more "open Windows" providing "software as a service" I only hope to see windows 7 where they just give the base os away and make you pay for anything else such as direct x. In reality a free Windows with source code available... Maybe Microsoft is waking up and realizing the power of open source... NAH... too bad tho... if they did the computer world would be completely owned by Microsoft... Reply
Dec 13, 2007 6:54 AM Aaron Aaron  says:
Actually, a Standard Windows XP would run normally on an Asus EEE PC. I've had it done. Though, the remaining space was down to less than 1.5GB after XP and Office were installed. Reply

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