Microsoft finalizes Windows XP for OLPC laptops

Microsoft has internally released to manufacturing the tweaked version of Windows XP for the One Laptop Per Child XO computer.

Microsoft has internally released to manufacturing the version of Windows XP that it has tweaked to run on the One Laptop Per Child XO computer.

James Utzschneider, general manager of marketing and communications for Microsoft's Unlimited Potential Group, said in a blog last week: "Windows on the XO looks like it is on track for availability in these types of national educational PC deals in September. We still have no plans to make Windows available for individuals who bought an XO in the Give 1 Get 1 program though."

The "national educational PC deal" to which Utzschneider is referring is a deal between Intel and Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim to provide 50,000 Intel Classmate Netbooks running Windows and Office to poor students in Mexico.

Microsoft did not officially acknowledge that the company was working on a port of XP for the OLPC laptop until May 2008. Prior to that time, however, OLPC officials had said that such a port was in the works. Microsoft, for its part, continued to say it was testing whether it could get XP to run properly on XOs.

On May 15, Microsoft and the OLPC announced they were going to deliver Windows on XO machines, which previously were slated to run Linux only. That announcement led to complaints by Linux backers and resignations of some OLPC officials.

Back in May, Microsoft and the OLPC said to expect the offering to be released to manufacturing in August or September and to be available initially only in "emerging market countries where governments or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are subsidizing the purchase of a large number of PCs for students". The pair noted at that time there was a "possibility of making this (XO on OLPC) available for other customers through a broader set of channels at a later point in time".

This article was first published as a blog on