OLPC meets XP: Does charm matter?

OLPC meets XP: Does charm matter?

Summary: The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is prepping an Windows-XP powered version of its XO device and the big takeaway is that the charm has left the building.Will charm matter  to OLPC's mission?


The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is prepping an Windows-XP powered version of its XO device and the big takeaway is that the charm has left the building.

Will charm matter  to OLPC's mission? See gallery (right).

CNet News's Ina Fried reports:

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.

But what's missing in the Windows version is the personality that oozes out of the Linux incarnation. 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.

I can attest for Sugar's charm since I have an XO and my daughter liked it. However, my daughter also knows XP and Mac for that matter. Perhaps that XO on XP would be more useful to her.

These are all open-ended questions and people will debate the Linux vs. XP thing forever. But for the OLPC's broader mission--putting laptops in developing markets--having two OS flavors makes sense.

But let's not get confused about the Windows vs. Linux thing. What makes the XO work is that it's in a form factor that works for kids--a fact me and my fat fingers have learned repeatedly. And double bonus points if teachers integrate the technology into lesson plans.

More reading:

Topics: Operating Systems, Laptops, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Software, Windows

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  • I agree: Having two OS flavors

    does make sense. People tend to forget who is it these systems are intended for: They are not for the Pro Linux/Pro Microsoft crowd, they are for children in developing countries.

    It is they who will be using them, not us. Allow them to make the choice, not us.
    • I agree with you. Let the children decide which they want to use...

      Having the option to dual boot is really good for the end users.
  • Does charm matter?

    only if you are a subatomic particle...
  • I say that Microsoft trying to horn in

    and take over everything that comes along is a good thing, in this case. Whether they are successful or not, at least they are directly competing (except for the fact that they have the money and power to bury ANYTHING (see their record: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2007/02/26/microsoft_archive_goes_torrent/)


    Why Microsoft and Intel tried to kill the XO $100 laptop

    If Microsoft prevails by competing fairly, good for them. But if they force their durty wurk on the public, BURY THEM (Microsoft) INSTEAD.
    Ole Man
  • "...a fact <b>me and my fat fingers</b> have learned repeatedly."

    I hate playing grammar cop, but this is a solecism up with which I cannot put.
    "...a fact <b>my fat fingers and I</b> have learned repeatedly."
    <i>Ad rem,</i> I agree with Ole Man, this is just a Me Too from MS. Or perhaps a pettier-than-usual, Grinch-like, Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish.
    Henry Miller
    • Or what GL said above

      They're the people using the laptops, no you, let them decide what they want, not MS, [b]OR[/b] any Linux foundations.
  • RE: OLPC meets XP: Does charm matter?

    as if children will know about duel booting or want to.