×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft and OLPC Agree To Put XP On the XO Laptop

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the sliding-down-a-slippery-slope dept.

Microsoft 530

Apro+im points out a NYTimes report which states that Microsoft and the OLPC project have officially agreed to put Windows XP on the XO laptop. While Microsoft has been working toward this for some time, analysts began to think a deal was more likely after Walter Bender resigned from the project and was replaced by Charles Kane. Former OLPC security developer Ivan Krstic had a lot to say about Windows on the XO as well. From the Times: "Windows will add a bit to the price of the machines, about $3, the licensing fee Microsoft charges to some developing nations under a program called Unlimited Potential. For those nations that want dual-boot models, running both Windows and Linux, the extra hardware required will add another $7 or so to the cost of the machines, Mr. Negroponte said. The project's agreement with Microsoft involves no payment by the software giant, and Microsoft will not join One Laptop Per Child's board. 'We've stayed very pure,' Mr. Negroponte said.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

530 comments

Give it to them for free (5, Insightful)

idiotwithastick (1036612) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426912)

If Microsoft really cared about education so much, why wouldn't they just give Windows to the OLPC project for free? $3 may be a lot when you multiply it by the numbers of copies that will be sold, but that's still less than 1/30 the price of a retail copy of Windows, and their brand image would probably improve as a result.

Re:Give it to them for free (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426998)

They have to get kids in the third world used to cutting Microsoft in on every transaction in their lives.

Re:Give it to them for free (5, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427158)

Without trolling for MS fans, and without faulting any of the philanthropic gifts from the Gates Foundation, I can honestly say that I don't think that Microsoft as a company is concerned about these kids' education. I think they are more concerned about training new users to use MS rather than linux, and with keeping 90%+ of desktop OS market.

What really pisses me off is that including XP on these things will increase the cost directly and indirectly ($3+$7) a total of 10% of the target $100 price of the laptop. It's taken a lot of hard work to put something together that is workable and to get the price down to the $200 it is at now. If they license at $3/copy, and are successful enough to get it on a million laptops, they've grossed $3 million ... which is nothing to them. So why bother?

You're right. Their corporate image would look a lot better if they just said 'Okay, here, install it all you want, this is on us.'

Re:Give it to them for free (5, Interesting)

kernowyon (1257174) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427344)

NotBornYesterday said -

I can honestly say that I don't think that Microsoft as a company is concerned about these kids' education

If you read the blog by Ivan Krstic in the submission, it would seem that Nicholas Negroponte isn't too bothered about education when compared to shifting the OLPCs -

Nicholas told me -- and not just me -- that learning was never part of the mission. The mission was, in his mind, always getting as many laptops as possible out there

It is a huge shame that the OLPC project has deteriorated in this way. When first announced,I was really keen on getting hold of one of these machines to see what I could do to help. I downloaded the .iso of the Sugar GUI and ran it in a VM - very clunky in the VM, but you could see the potential. Others I demonstrated it to were equally impressed. Now it seems to be floundering desperately and the Microsoft sharks are closing in for the kill.

Re:Give it to them for free (5, Insightful)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427464)

The project really has deteriorated with this news. An organization that sets out to change the world and abandons one of main principals will get no support from me.

Re:Give it to them for free (0)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427176)

Why couldn't the OLPC just dump the OS idea all together and ship hardware and let the 3rd world decide what to put on it.

Re:Give it to them for free (4, Insightful)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427298)

That's essentially what Negroponte has boiled the project down to by letting Sugar dev's out of the loop. Many, Walter Bender included, have gone to start Sugar Labs [sugarlabs.org] to ensure that Sugar remains available regardless of what OLPC does.

It destroys the "It's an education project, not a laptop project." to not ship with an operating system and educational software.

Re:Give it to them for free (2, Interesting)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427386)

They will not openly give out a free copy of windows. Simply not. They have to charge at least something. Because if they start giving out free licensed copies, other users might get even more annoyed with MS's stance on software piracy and DRM.

Re:Give it to them for free (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427568)

I don't understand what it is Microsoft think they are going to get out of this. There's no point in applying ven-duh lock-in to people who literally can't afford to buy your products...

"extra hardware"? (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426918)

For those nations that want dual-boot models, running both Windows and Linux, the extra hardware required will add another $7 or so to the cost of the machines

Why does dual boot require extra hardware??

Re:"extra hardware"? (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426950)

That's what I was thinking. Bigger hard drives maybe? That's all I could come up with, but a price difference of only 7 US dollars doesn't sound right.

Re:"extra hardware"? (2, Informative)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426958)

the initial hardware design of the olpc isn't enough to run xp. simple as that. I find it hilarious that they couldn't get it to run xp with what the laptop already has. That tells you something. heh. btw i haven't RTFA yet, so if I'm wrong, someone correct me.

Re:"extra hardware"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427078)

MS is providing a "special" version of XP that will run with the limited hardware... trimming some of the crap (clippy perhaps?)

Must be the flash memory. (2, Interesting)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427234)

I have an ancient laptop that runs XP-professional, and actually boots up in less than 5 minutes off 128Mbytes of RAM and a 333mhz processor (Pentium II).

granted, it does have a 4 gig hard drive compared to the 1GBytes from the XO. However, I have not looked at the specifics to see if the AMD Geode is any less than a 333 pentium II.

Re:"extra hardware"? (2, Informative)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426970)

More storage probably. Windows XP is a beast, at ~3 GB for a full install IIRC. Even shrunk down hardcore, it's probably still at least 1.5 GB.

If so there goes battery life, too. (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427056)

Why does dual boot require extra hardware??

More storage probably.


If so, that means shorter battery life - even when the memory isn't being used. (Even if you turn off the clocking, leakage current is a honking big fraction of power consumption with the recent generations of semiconductors.)

So by changing the machine to handle Windows (and raising its price) they've also reduced one aspect of its functionality under a free OS.

Re:"extra hardware"? (3, Insightful)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427216)

Bigger SD card

XO has 1 Gig and needs a 1 Gig SD card to run XP. I assume to add another OS you would need a 2 Gig card instead as XP has sucked up all your storage.

No idea what you could actually RUN on it or where you store apps to try and run on it but.....

So $10 gets you what (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426944)

to run an OS MSFT will stop supporting in 45 days? the OS will run horribly as the hardware isn't fast enough to support XP, and the Interface isn't up to running on a small screen. Not to mention if you ever have any problems and re install you run into WGA activation which requires internet access which may or may not be available to the region in which the system has been deployed.

Can someone tell me why this makes sense again? or is it more of MSFT buying customers as they can't earn them through capitalistic competition.

How about applications? (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427140)

to run an OS MSFT will stop supporting in 45 days?
Under Linux, I assume all the necessary applications are included, whereas under XP, they have...... notepad?

Re:How about applications? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427402)

Actually is a special pack OS, they add MS Works with a basic access, word, excel and powerpoint reader.
Many countries are getting this special packed OS through the MS's Unlimited Potential program.
MS has given it to thousands of schools already in third world countries.
Now they just deploying it on the XO mini-laptop as well.

Re:How about applications? (5, Funny)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427526)

whereas under XP, they have...... notepad?

Don't be ridiculous.

It's got MS Paint too.

Re:So $10 gets you what (2, Interesting)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427242)

Microsoft is really pushing to get XP onto low cost laptops. They recently started a program to sell XP until 2010 for use on "ULPCs". The OLPC program is seperate though, and could potentially last longer.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2008/apr08/04-03xpeos.mspx

Re:So $10 gets you what (5, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427332)

"The people who buy the machines are not the children who use them, but government officials in most cases," said Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the nonprofit group. "And those people are much more comfortable with Windows."

Somewhere Balmer strokes his horns and drinks a toast to another soul!

One Blue Screen Per Child? (5, Funny)

johngault33 (1285878) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426948)

Now, even poor kids can learn to hate M$

Re:One Blue Screen Per Child? (0)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427238)

Now, even poor kids can learn to hate M$
I mean, fuck, I am so angry about this I think we should all get together and come up with a distro for the OLPC. Ubuntu is perfectly set for this one - a small windows app that replaces windows.

Re:One Blue Screen Per Child? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427580)

They are going to continue to offer a model that doesn't come with Windows.

I guess it's a big change in direction, but they have only added Windows as an option at this point, not abandoned the original software completely.

XO has been assimilated (2, Insightful)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426964)

Well, so much for a really cool idea. Microsoft will go to any length to have it's shitty OS on anything.

Re:XO has been assimilated (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427130)

Well, so much for a really cool idea. Microsoft will go to any length to have it's shitty OS on anything.
I have their OS on my toilet paper, for example.

Re:XO has been assimilated (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427590)

Why not just wipe your ass with the money you payed for the license?

It's just as well (4, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#23426990)

I for one was not looking forward to welcoming a new generation of young, creative, inquisitive, independent minded developing country overlords.

Re:It's just as well (3, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427206)

Wow, you're not just a little presumptuous. So using Linux is the only way to be "creative, inquisitive and independent minded"?

Re:It's just as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427482)

Maybe you're being presumptuous, and he meant Mac OS. Sounds about right.

Re:It's just as well (0)

DuctTape (101304) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427484)

Wow, you're not just a little presumptuous. So using Linux is the only way to be "creative, inquisitive and independent minded"?

No, actually. Using a Mac is.

DT

Re:It's just as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427624)

Perhaps not, but Windows is NOT the way.

Pure? (5, Interesting)

the_brobdingnagian (917699) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427016)

'We've stayed very pure,' Mr. Negroponte said.
Yet from their core principles:

There is no inherent external dependency in being able to localize software into their language, fix the software to remove bugs, and repurpose the software to fit their needs. Nor is there any restriction in regard to redistribution; OLPC cannot know and should not control how the tools we create will be re-purposed in the future.
And they seem to have adapted their "core principles" to be more positive towards closed source. A real shame is you ask me. source: Core Principles [laptop.org] (Renamed to "Five principles" instead of "Core principles" as the seem to value their principles less and less).

Purity is in the eye of the beholder? (4, Funny)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427030)

'We've stayed very pure,' Mr. Negroponte said.

Yep, as pure as the bride wearing a white dress for her wedding when she's six months pregnant.

Re:Purity is in the eye of the beholder? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427164)

Yep, as pure as the bride wearing a white dress for her wedding when she's six months pregnant.
And walking down the isle with her face still buried in Microsoft's...

Re:Purity is in the eye of the beholder? (0, Flamebait)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427174)

'We've stayed very pure,' Mr. Negroponte said.
Pure as in the Aryan race (MS) pure? heh. Sounds like it.

Phew (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427036)

That was a close call. For a while there was a threat that emerging countries could grow into the computer world with a fast, reliable and stable platform to develop on.

Now we drag them down to our level!

Re:Phew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427452)

"a fast, reliable and stable platform"

I gather you have never seen an OLPC.

what is windows going to provide? (5, Insightful)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427044)

IE 7? Office 2007? (in someone's dreams) .NET? (.NET's virtual machine is probably too much to run on OLPCs) If anyone knows what the features are in running windows on these laptops, let me know.

I used to be a Negroponte fan, but since he allowed the MS move in this project he designed, I am no longer. No, it's not because I'm anti-MS, it's because I thought that this project wasn't a place for competition with commercial software. If MS wants to help out, the should do what Steve Jobs did with OS X: Offer it for Free. No deals, no licensing BS.

Re:what is windows going to provide? (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427384)

(.NET's virtual machine is probably too much to run on OLPCs)

Doesn't it run Python? Then it should run the .NET CLR just fine, as long as the application(s) don't overdo it.

In my experience wxPython apps consume as much (if not more) memory than a comparable Windows Form application written against the 2.0 framework.

Still, there's the memory the runtime/framework consume and the memory gobbled up by the application itself.

Maybe (2, Insightful)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427058)

this could extend XP's life a little longer until a non-shitty version of Windows comes out? (insert joke here) I realize we could be waiting awhile. I use Linux for most things but I just can't get away from my PC gaming!

Re:Maybe (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427400)

this could extend XP's life a little longer until a non-shitty version of Windows comes out?

I believe MS has finally set an appropriate value on their OS. $3.00 is a fair price.

Now governments of the world should mandate a price cap for all versions of XP, based on that value. Otherwise Microsoft is using price dumping to drive out competitors, an illegal tactic for a monopoly.

Re:Maybe (5, Funny)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427424)

I prefer the command line to pc games. Beside being more rewarding intellectually, all my friends think I'm in the Matrix. And by friends I mean my collectible action figures.

Nevermore.... (1)

budword (680846) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427082)

I had been looking to pick up one of these, either from ebay or the buy one get one program, if they ever started it up again to raise some money. Nevermore. Sell outs.

A total loss of focus at OLPC (5, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427092)

Windows will add a bit to the price of the machines, about $3, the licensing fee Microsoft charges to some developing nations under a program called Unlimited Potential. ... [cut] ... The project's agreement with Microsoft involves no payment by the software giant.

What? That's totally ridiculous. It means that the XO becomes nothing more than a vehicle for transfer of money from 3rd world children to Microsoft.

Whoever thought that idea up at OLPC has shit for brains.

Microsoft should be *PAYING* for the privilege of getting its O/S installed on a machine to which it contributed absolutely nothing during development, and which will become an instrument of propaganda for Microsoft among the children of the world.

OLPC guys, you've really dropped the ball on this one, and forgotten that the XO was not intended as a normal western product for exploitation of consumers.

Re:A total loss of focus at OLPC (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427148)

Whoever thought that idea up at OLPC has shit for brains.
Nah, they have money in their pockets. And shit on their lips for kissing Microsoft's dirty ass.

Operating system as "just another component"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427552)

It seems to me that the XO laptop already has plenty of parts that have cost associated with them, manufacturing, etc. The fact that one piece of software is licensed might be a philosophical shift from the software perspective, but not in terms of the whole device. The main objective is low cost, not free. Free can only happen when you already have enough laptops around to spread the freedom between. Low cost is what is important while you are those getting devices out there. If Windows is the most cost-effective way to get an operating system together, then so be it.

The main concern is whether Microsoft's (or any other part manufacturer) has enough of a monopoly on the production of a part that adds risk to long-term pricing in the manufacturing process. Ideally, the whole thing could be turned over to local plants for building and/or assembly of components. If a manufacturer gets in the way, then the whole XO project could be put at risk. The other end of things is when optional extras start to add significantly to the cost. How much will children in developing nations be charged for their use of Visual Studio to innovate new software?

Support? (3, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427132)

I wonder if it means Microsoft is prepared to support XP for at least another 10 years. Developing countries may be able to pay $200/laptop, but not $200/laptop/year. If a school goes with XP solution and some critical patch, such as a revision of IPV6 support, is needed, will they have to buy new laptops to run Windows 2015 or whatever?

Re:Support? (3, Interesting)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427230)

I wonder if they will outsource the call center taking 1st level support calls on XP for OLPC to one or more of the countries where kids are using the laptops?

Re:Support? (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427236)

Honestly, most laptops are lucky to last 2-3 years with daily use. Though the XO might be more durable then most, MS probably doesn't have to support it for 10 years as by 5 years most laptops will have already broken (either the battery dies, power cord dies, HD fails, RAM gets corrupted, or the motherboard fries). And also, knowing MS, they will release Windows 7 Lite edition that will just barely run on them and stop supporting XP in 3 years and charge them around $25 for each upgrade as is the way of MS.

Re:Support? (1)

Zey (592528) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427328)

And also, knowing MS, they will release Windows 7 Lite edition that will just barely run on them and stop supporting XP in 3 years and charge them around $25 for each upgrade as is the way of MS.

In those three years time, there's a pretty good chance ReactOS [reactos.org] will be a stable Win32 alternative OS. Even today, version 0.3.4 packs in a huge amount of functionality into its 22M ISO; it installs, boots and you can successfully run an increasing number of Windows apps including Firefox and Thunderbird. It's definitely one to watch in future.

Re:Support? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427410)

But in 3 years WINE will have matured enough to run most Windows applications under Linux. Unless you need hardware drivers that aren't supported in Linux (unlike the XO) what reason is there to run ReactOS? The Windows framework isn't exactly the most stable, nor the most secure of all the OSes, and the GUI of ReactOS is nothing you can't get on Linux. So unless you want to run Windows apps (which would be needless if WINE improves) or hardware drivers (needless for the XO) I don't see a real need for ReactOS for the OLPC project.

Re:Support? (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427388)

Most people have rather different expectations of equipment lifecycles than consumer desktop/laptop users in US. The expectation would be that failed OLPCs are repaired or replaced with a new OLPC rather than a radically different laptop that barely runs Windows 7 Lite and breaks half of educational software which has only been tested on XP. If people need a computer for a specific purpose, it's silly to expect them to re-learn basic OS interface every 2-3 years.

Send them a message! (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427160)

I just did, to information@laptop.org [mailto]:

Okay, I'm going to try to ask this in the most polite way I can:

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

I thought the OLPC project was about helping children. I thought it was about teaching them to be self-sufficient, by giving them the opportunity to see and modify all the code the computer was running. I thought it was about giving them software (such as Squeak) that would help them learn.

Obviously, I was wrong. How sad: the most promising educational project EVER, and you've just FLUSHED IT DOWN THE DAMN TOILET.

FUCK YOU very much, and have a SHITTY day.

Re:Send them a message! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427338)

You're fucking welcum.

Not about education, then, was it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427184)

If you read Ivan Krstic's blog post, he doesn't say officially supported or any such thing. He says "moving to" Windows XP. This is the worst OS on the planet for Education... unless you mean education in how to use a computer in order to pay Microsoft later.

So, then what was this project about? eBooks? No, it has been proven over and over again that the eBook route offers less content and at a higher price than paper. Remember that the content is what costs money today not the printing, which is subsidized in the Third World. Empowerment (with Windows)? This isn't even a serious question.

All of those who said they supported the project for "Education" but really thought it was a cool Linux project... that is those who didn't know anything about Education in the first place have been handed a Giant Shit Sandwich by Microsoft. At least someone had an education for this Boondoggle!!!

J.

I wonder if Gates Foundation money is behind this (3, Interesting)

joeflies (529536) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427192)

Although it is being presented as Microsoft doing some good contributed to the project, I wonder if we could compare Gates Foundation money will flow to OLPC after the XP version is for sale. That could be the kind of non-profit pressure that would make the change of heart towards adoption of Microsoft software seem more understandable.

Comparing the money involved, OLPC = $200, OLPC + XP = $207, and Windows XP Home = $199. Hard to really explain why there is such a desire for Microsoft to cut the costs so deep just to get involved in this project. I'm sure it's not corporate altruism.

The Gates Foundation is all about... (2, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427224)

closing gates and not opening them. There is nothing philanthropic about enslaving people with money.

Re:I wonder if Gates Foundation money is behind th (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427356)

Look, even if the Gates Foundation did donate money, there is no need to train kids to use MS products. Throughout your life when has ever a MS product really helped you? Sure DOS was Ok, but wait, you have to learn Windows now, thats not too hard, then Windows 95 comes out and changes everything, you go out and buy a faster computer and relearn Windows, then Windows 98 comes out, you figure its time for another computer and go buy one and spend a bit more time relearning Windows. Then ME comes out, and if you are lucky you skip it and then buy a new computer relearn everything and get XP. Notice a pattern here? The same could be said about Office, and all those skills you learned using all the Office programs prior to 2007 are now useless as Office 2007 totally changed the UI without an option to use the old one. All the while paying for the "privilege" of using MS's software.

MS's software may be a quick way to get things done, but in the long run, you are just a number, and that number is how much money you are willing to spend on MS's products.

Re:I wonder if Gates Foundation money is behind th (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427492)

"I'm sure it's not corporate altruism."

It's as "altruistic" as putting a steak in a beartrap.

Beaten to it! (1)

kernowyon (1257174) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427256)

I submitted the same basic story (beaten by the bell!), but quoting the BBC article - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7402365.stm [bbc.co.uk]
It is a very interesting story indeed. The blog by Ivan Krstic (link in submission) is well worth looking at too. He has some very forthright comments to make, including his response to a certain Richard Stallmans comment regarding the XP inclusion. Krstic doesn't seem to be a rabid anti-Windows fanatic, but he does oppose Windows being installed on the OLPC machines -

while I'm unequivocally enthusiastic about Sugar being ported to every OS out there, I'm absolutely opposed to Windows as the single OS that OLPC offers for the XO

For those who didn't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427260)

"The pact with Microsoft is not an exclusive agreement. The Linux version will still be available, and the organization will encourage outside software developers to create a version of the projectâ(TM)s educational software, called Sugar, that will run on Windows." So they can pay more if they want Windows, big deal.

Also: "they often see familiarity with Windows-based computing as a marketable skill that can improve job prospects.". I hope they aren't all this stuppid.

Am I the only person who thinks this is ok? (3, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427466)

As the parent mentions, this isn't OLPC 'dumping' Linux. They are just giving the countries who will be buying these things another option for Windows. Probably a waste on that hardware, but, really, I do believe some countries probably *want* Windows on the laptops. They probably feel that if they are going to educate kids about computers, the kids should get some exposure to Windows. I don't think that's entirely unreasonable.

I don't want people to take away from this that I am a MS fanboi - I very much am not. But, why shouldn't the purchasing countries have the option to get Windows if they want it? I hope people don't totally abandon OLPC in terms of quitting the development of software for the Linux-based SugarOS, in protest against this. This just makes it that much more important that the Open Source/Free Software communities continue to work with OLPC and make the Free Software available for it the best they can. In fact, I have a bit of a prediction. I think this whole thing will fall apart of it's own accord when Microsoft can't actually get Windows XP to run decently on the XO, so as long as the Free Software developers don't walk away in protest, I bet they will end up using the Linux based software in the end.

There is only, mainly, one question I walk away from this with, however - from what I've seen of SugarOS so far, I don't really think it matter much, from a user's perspective, what is running underneath it (what I mean by that is, while the laptops might be slower and more prone to crash with Windows [or maybe not], the *user interface experience* will be the same - that is to say, all the kids will see is Sugar, right?). So, I guess I wonder, from OLPC's standpoint, *why* they would bother putting the Windows XP kernel underneath of it, if the kids are just basically going to be using the same SugarOS and the applications developed for it. Why not use the Linux kernel which is better to begin with than the XP kernel, and has already, and continues to be, tuned just for the OLPC hardware?

Sad news (5, Insightful)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427272)

I Can't believe people, even inside Microsoft, can see this as a good thing. This is like McDonalds bullying and lobbying to make the BigMac the preferred choice for UN's world food programme, and succeeding. And having people like Negroponte not mad about it just makes me think there's little to no hope.

So much for that. (5, Informative)

Dragonfire00 (1099913) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427280)

Off the OLPC website:
"XO is built from free and open-source software. Our commitment to software freedom gives children the opportunity to use their laptops on their own terms. While we do not expect every child to become a programmer, we do not want any ceiling imposed on those children who choose to modify their machines. We are using open-document formats for much the same reason: transparency is empowering. The children--and their teachers--will have the freedom to reshape, reinvent, and reapply their software, hardware, and content."

Re:So much for that. (2, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427428)

Balmer: "Hey, Nicky? Balmer here. Hey that little blurb about "open formats" and "no ceiling" for the OLPC, yeah you need to take that down, Man. Yeah. Yes, THEN I'll give you back you're testicles. I promise...no I'm not crossing my hideously devilish fingers. Okay....thanks, Buddy.:

OLPC should've said... (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427300)

OLPC should've said, "You're welcome to buy as many as you want with our standard OS, then install on them whatever you like."

That's the last nail (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427310)

congratulations, it's dead. Can OLPC be saved from Negroponte?

Re:That's the last nail (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427446)

I hate to say it, but I think you're right. So many of the great ideas from the original OLPC project have been thrown out the window that what's left is no longer worthwhile.

i find it hard to believe... (4, Insightful)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427314)

Seems odd that getting people indoctrinated into MS culture is so much more valuable than the hit to your reputation from a shitty user experience. Face it, while it might run XP, trying to run a program and XP must totally suck on that little thing.

They are quite confident of their monopoly it would seem.

There will be (hopefully) a million kids growing up thinking 'Windows is sooooo sloooow'

If i was in charge i don't think i would let windows only versions ship as then they think the same about you.

Re:i find it hard to believe... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427368)

How will they know it's so slow if they've never used a computer before?

up and olpc (1)

h2k1 (661151) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427360)

i have been teaching the up curricula for some time now to some kids and theirs parents as professional formation, feeling the most of the time that I'm selling them the msft technology instead of teaching them something about the professional use of the computer.
if you join this to the olpc project you'll get marketing for the future leaders of the developed countries of tomorrow.

End of a dream (3, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427370)

Essentially, this can win/win Microsoft. If few adopt the project then so what? They will have shit-canned a rival to the Classmate. If it takes off, then a host of new addicts will come back to Microsoft and pay some day. In the end Negroponte's dream is sufficiently squashed. With so much of the world embracing OSS and many of those involved in the project pushing it too the OLPC has become less desirable. Who's laughing? Microsoft and Intel.

Stallman (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427372)

I'm pretty sure the cocksucker who wrote the article doesn't really get free software. I think the point is that many individuals, such as myself for example, want for themselves a platform including development tools that are entirely open and free as in both freedom and beer. I want to learn by looking at other people's code and I want to create without paying fees everywhere for every tool I need with someone else deciding the parameters or tools with which I am allowed to create. That's why I choose, for myself, to participate in the world of free software.

As for kids around the world they may or may not decide they want that for themselves. However, the freedom of free software certainly empowers them to create and learn in any way they choose to without the cost and limitations set by a greedy foreign entity who has a fundamental conflict of interest with the freedom of individuals. It would be arguably unethical to subjugate these students, as so many negligent IT professionals have done for their companies, to the closed blood sucking world of Microsoft. A single potent example is Microsoft's persistence to keep standards closed, even when they're faking making them open, so that THEY can control how much you pay to see your data and documents. They have abundant engineering talent to fix that problem but choose not to in order to control their customers.

The self-serving asshole who wrote the article tried to set up Stallman as having some abstract political agenda that Stallman puts first. The author misses the point entirely. The empowerment of free software enables especially people with limited resources to explore their own potential, if they choose to do so.

Is there a law against cruelty to computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427378)

I mean the XO got a 433 MHz processor.

Add XP...ouch...

Add security... ouch...

Put it in developing countries with little to no knowledge about the intricate rituals needed to download porn succesfully without getting web-STD's from it....*relentless "The Passion"-screaming for 3 hours*

The OLPC should now die. (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427416)

Sorry, Negroponte you've sold your soul. You've sold out your once inspiring dream.

Sorry, this is the pure outrage: You fucking suck.

We believed, we helped, YOU SUCK.

guess what nick (1)

frinky525 (210472) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427422)

"'We've stayed very pure,' Mr. Negroponte said."

i'v said it before and i'll say it again, you can't get a little bit pregnant.

A single question arise: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427500)

Alternatives?

so... will the view the source of this application (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427508)

button still do exactly that?

Re:so... will the view the source of this applicat (1)

Cussin_IT (1143215) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427630)

I suspect it will show something like:

msgbox ("This aplication has performed an ilegal opeartion an will now close")
close()

A couple of thoughts (0)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427560)

I don't mean to break up the pitchfork party, but I wanted to share a couple of thoughts that occurred to me...

I'll preface this whole thing by saying that I don't love/hate any specific operating system. I've used most of the popular ones: Windows, Linux (Red Hat, SuSE, Fedora, and Slackware), FreeBSD (pre 5 is my fav.), OS X, etc. I run all three major OSes at home (Win/Linux/OS X). I come from a lone line of both IT consulting and programming, so I've had experience with Windows enterprise networks, BSD clusters, X-Serv farms, etc.

It's been my experience that each operating system has its place in a specific environment. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses when applied to a scenario. Instead of one choosing an operating system based on a visceral reaction, one should find the one that is the best solution to the particular problem.

Now, I have no doubt that Microsoft wanted to get its foot in the door and draw a whole populous of people over to its side. It's a great corporate strategy; tap a whole group of impressionable people and introduce them to your product. Now, when they grow up, they'll be used to and comfortable with your product, and will want to use that instead of something new.

However, I think there's something else here as well. There *is* a certain value to putting Windows on these machines: it's what the majority of the world uses. Linux is no longer that obscure "red-headed stepchild" operating system, but it's far away from broad public adoption. There are many reasons for this, none of which I believe are relevant to this argument. The idea here is that you'd be hard-pressed to find even a Linux evangelist from admitting that Windows holds the world OS marketshare. So why on *earth* shouldn't these children be introduced to something that the vast majority of this world uses? The experience they'll walk away with will allow them to use a "real" computer with ease once they get into that environment.

I understand the counter-argument: Linux is an open-source operating system, and it's not adopted because people are simply either not familiar with it, are afraid of it, or are willfully ignorant of what it provides. This is partially true; be that as it may, I don't see why these impressionable folk should be the test-bed, or the seeds, for a change in the world. Why? Because in the end, the places they'll go will most likely not be using Linux, and they'll be at a disadvantage.

Do I think the world needs to use Linux more? Absolutely. Do I think that the OLPC is the best way to do it? No.

There are other good things about this, too: The variety of applications that could become available for the machine has exponentially increased. Windows is a popular platform to develop on; so popular, in fact, that the majority of software developers don't develop on any other platform. Given that the OLPC will now run Windows, many more developers can jump on the bandwagon and develop intuitive, fun, and educational programs that could influence these kids for a lifetime.

I know many of you will disagree with me; that's fine, I expect that. Just remember that I don't intend be a troll; I simply wanted to share my thoughts on this matter.

FUCK YOU OLPC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23427622)

enuf said.

Payment and purity (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23427632)

Dear Dr. Negroponte

If you're getting in bed with someone you shouldn't be in bed with, then you're not staying pure, even if no payment is involved.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...