Microsoft working on XP for the $100 laptop

Summary:Microsoft is reportedly working on running a stripped down version of XP to run on the One Laptop Per Child Foundation's "$100 laptop".

Microsoft is reportedly working on running a stripped down version of Windows XP to run on the One Laptop Per Child Foundation's "$100 laptop".

The ruggedised low-cost laptops, targeted at schoolchildren in developing nations, run on both free and open source software. The machines come with an OS which uses elements of Red Hat's Fedora Core 6 and includes a browser built on XULRunner, the run-time environment used by Firefox.

Now, Microsoft is apparently trying to develop its own proprietary OS for the laptop, using a modified version of XP.

"We're spending a non-trivial amount of money on it," Microsoft corporate VP Will Poole told Reuters. "We're working hard. But we're still at least a few months away."

The exec added: "We've made progress." The foundation behind the "$100 laptop" -- now set to cost around US$190 -- has steered away from using proprietary software, in order to allow the laptops' schoolchild owners to modify the machines' source code.

The OLPC Foundation could not immediately be reached for comment.

Microsoft is not the only proprietary software company which has expressed interest in seeing its products appear on the XO. Steve Jobs reportedly offered to equip the laptops with a free copy of Mac OS X, although the foundation rejected the offer on the grounds it did not want to accept proprietary software.

Topics: Open Source, Browser, Tech Industry

About

Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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