OLPC ready to scrap Linux??

OLPC ready to scrap Linux??

Summary: The Inquirer says so.OLPC, the educational project which purportedly aims to provide small, cheap laptops for kids has, since its inception, been running its home-made Sugar application, run on Linux, but on Tuesday, OLPC chairman and founder, Nicholas Negroponte, told AP that this was all about to change.

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The Inquirer says so.
OLPC, the educational project which purportedly aims to provide small, cheap laptops for kids has, since its inception, been running its home-made Sugar application, run on Linux, but on Tuesday, OLPC chairman and founder, Nicholas Negroponte, told AP that this was all about to change.

In an attack on pro open saucers, Negroponte slammed “the fundamentalism in some of the open-source community" and reckoned that by pushing the free, open-sauce software on OLPC XOs, the company was scaring people away. "One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist" he snarled.

Which deeply outraged Edward Cherlin at OLPCNews:
Oh? We somehow ran away with your project that you were in charge of? Is that because you never talk to the workers? And is that because we would have quit and forked Sugar if you had told us this before? OLPC is an education project, not a laptop project. And the purpose of education in the OLPC project is to put an end to poverty. So the economics of the project matter. You have to pay attention to where the money comes from and goes to, both. It has been estimated that aid to African nations has amounted to more than a trillion dollars in the last century, and that theft of government assets in these countries has also reached a trillion dollars or more. Microsoft's monopoly position in the industry is the issue here. The children of the developing nations can have software freedoms and no-cost software, or can become Microserfs, having to pay an annual tax to Microsoft for software updates to have the privilege of using their own computers. It would cost developing nations many billions of dollars annually to buy proprietary software to match what the children can access for free in Linux. Many times more than the cost of the computers. I have run the numbers. For casual users, there may be enough software bundled with the system, but for power users and secondary school students needing the latest software technology in their textbooks, the ratio can easily reach 10 to 1 on conventional laptops, and even more on XOs.

Topics: Software, CXO, Open Source, IT Employment

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  • Rather extreme position

    Fundamentalists are always going to be with us (they're even useful on occasion), but that doesn't mean that open source can't be sold on the merits. If OLPC is working well with a Linux OS then why change?

    About like claiming that proprietary software has to be abandoned because Anton Phildor thinks it's the only legitimate way to distribute software.
    John L. Ries
    • What if Microsoft has volunteered ....

      ... to provide the software for free and is even ponying up some funding for the project. I'm not saying they are but what if? Which side of the merit analysis does it fall then?
      ShadeTree
      • ...

        Then I would first check to see if the moon was still there, the SUV's were gone and swine were flying. ]:)

        BUT if Microsoft did pony up without any $$$ strings attached, then kudos to them for getting it. But since they are a corporation out to get as much money as possible... see the beginning of my post. ]:)
        Linux User 147560
        • But doesn't training the 3rd world ....

          ... on Windows make them even more money in the end? What happened to the conspiracy theory that Microsoft encouraged piracy of their OS to help maintain their dominance? Isn't it funny how the story changes?
          ShadeTree
          • Exactly!

            This could be the opportunity of a lifetime for Microsoft!

            The small developmental costs of whipping up some educational software is a very small price to pay for the increased marketshare.

            MS wouldn't be around if they never thought long-term. This would be very good business.
            Allstar_z
      • Cost push

        [i]What if Microsoft has volunteered to provide the software for free and is even ponying up some funding for the project. I'm not saying they are but what if? Which side of the merit analysis does it fall then?[/i]

        First, I wouldn't be surprised. MS is an idealistic company, and something like that would align their business interests with their ideals.

        However, the "little brown brother" version of MSWinXP that MS has put together for the XO has a pretty heavy storage footprint. The flash drive would have to be doubled in size to provide the same user capacity that it has now, and I don't see Microsoft underwriting that much out-of-pocket cost.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • Idealistic

          Idealistic yes, if the ideal is to grab as much money as possible.

          Why else would they have stopped groups putting Windows 95 on thrown out computers and shipping them to third-world computers?
          kwacka
        • You're kidding right?

          In the volumes we are talking about the few dollars doubling the RAM would cost is trivial to Microsoft.
          ShadeTree
      • What if Microsoft has volunteered ....get real

        I think that it would be a cold day in h*ll if bill gates gave something away with out strings or some government wasn't flipping the cost. I think he charge his grandma by the hour to visit on holidays. IF they did use windows in there laptop,those kids will not be able to learn on them they will crash, attack viruses like any other windows machine.
        jackfred
        • Cold day in h*ll

          Uh, the Gates foundation gives away billions of his dollars to causes all around the World and he is not that involved with Microsoft strategy anymore.
          Patronus
    • Because Open Source Become Open Source of Money !

      We all know by now that Ubuntu is weight up by Sun Microsystems who want to lead the Servers Business Industry. Digg this and you will learn lots of underground behavior around many Linux Distro?s.

      Linux Xandros is supply on the EEPC of Asus whit XP. Xandros seem to be reliable on Multimedia more than Ubuntu is.

      The reality is a Marketing and Political issue to ship an Open free OS that no one could compare to XP in manner of a well know stable PC that is actually in use by more than 70% of Business and end users in the world.

      Beside all Teenagers in North America Canada/USA don't want Ubuntu or any other Linux. They want MSN or other live chat providers. Easy doing, easy going !

      Children?s do not need Political Fear issue, they need good stuff that will make them good in PC using.
      pobstar1@...
  • RE: OLPC ready to scrap Linux??

    Lets hope so! Dumping linux is the best thing the OLPC could do. Now they just need to lower the price and put a real operating system on there and it may not be a bad little device.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Hey!

      Weren't you just in a Apple blog saying Linux great?
      voska1
      • Don't you know?

        He swears by BeOS!
        nix_hed
  • I've always said the Stallman attitude is OS worst enemy.

    The lack of pragmatism exhibited by some in the OSS community is going to hurt OSS. It seems it has done so in this case.
    ye
    • M$ wants to steal OSS hard work

      an install windoze on OLPC, a program that was started by OSS.
      Linux Geek
  • So what would they run on it?

    Vista? LOL
    voska1
    • XP

      EOM
      rkoman@...
      • What "annual tax" are you refering to?

        [i]having to pay an annual tax to Microsoft for software updates[/i]

        I receive my updates for free. How do those on the OLPC unit differ?
        GuidingLight
  • RE: OLPC ready to scrap Linux??

    I don't think Microsoft would charge a lot for free/near-free PC going to impoverished kids. The argument that MSFT is too spendy is absurd. The discussion should be on getting the wrapped up and putting production units where they are needed. Why is this taking so long??
    Roostin