OLPC going Windows XP too

Yesterday, we caught wind of the fact that Asus was readying a Windows XP version of its venerable Eee PC. Today brings news that Eee PC competitor, the OLPC’s XO, will also take Windows XP for a test run. Microsoft has announced that it plans to conduct field trials in January for XOs running Windows XP, with the goal of shipping machines as early as the second half of 2008. Apparently, the company is designing a custom version of XP just for the XO, which will run directly off of a 2GB SD card.

While this is good news for the OLPC project–one of the many criticisms that the XO had endured from governments is that it doesn’t run Windows–it’s also a slightly troubling development for advocates of open platforms. Though OLPC Chairman Nicholas Negroponte has long espoused a philosophy of complete openness, it’s hard to see the inclusion of Windows XP on the open-source laptop as anything but a compromise of those ideals. This is especially true if you consider the fact that Microsoft had been pushing for the inclusion of an SD card slot in the machine more than anyone else. Will the OLPC project be forced to abandon its open-source ideology in order to succeed?

For more on the announcement:
– see this PC World article

More stories about Eee PC   Windows XP   OLPC  


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