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Peru To Be First To Put Windows On OLPC Laptop

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the must-be-that-high-mountain-air dept.

Windows 292

Da Massive writes "The government of Peru will run the first ever trial of the One Laptop Per Child association's XO laptop running Windows XP. This puts the nation at the heart of a software controversy that has been raging for years between those who advocate making software and its source code free, such as Linux OS developers, and those who charge for software and keep the development recipes secret, such as Microsoft."

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292 comments

Negroponte (4, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036229)

He's always got my goat, I wish he'd give it back. I used to read his breathless commentary in Wired in the 90s, visionary - pah, up his own arse.

Re:Negroponte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036451)

Me llega que haya pasado esto. Todo iba tan bien pero esos idiotas de la microsoft siempre tienen que meter la cola donde nadie les manda. En resumen: se jodio el projecto. Viva el Peru!

Re:Negroponte (0, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036817)

I found out that this had happened. Everything was going so well but these idiots of Microsoft always have to put the noses where no one wants them. In short: the entire project got fucked up. Long live peru!

The Goal? (4, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036247)

At least there is technology getting into the hands of children who can use it to further their education. Before we whine about it running on proprietary software let's also keep in mind that it gives them access greater than what they had, interoperability they may never have had, and there are plenty of open source projects that they can use if they want to.

Re:The Goal? (3, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036311)

Access greater than what they had? To what? Access to Microsoft Software? How does that help learning?

Interoperability greater than what they had? Interoperability to what? MS Office and other MS software which is notorious for not being interoperable?

This computer was supposed to be a learning tool for children. To teach critical thinking. Not to be a platform for Office.

How does turning it into an XP box help? XP is just essentially a vending machine.

Re:The Goal? (5, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036513)

I will respond because I didn't make my initial statement without thinking. Greater than what they had - meaning more than. Before this they had nothing available probably. This is not less than nothing.

Interoperability - as much as it pains you to acknowledge it, most of the world still runs Windows. In some places it still requires Windows. Until that changes my statement remains true.

This computer can still be a learning tool for children. This tool can still teach critical thinking. One does NOT need to be using an open source platform to engage in critical thinking. Not to mention that Office most surely won't run on something of this nature but that only belies your unwillingness to accept anything other than a purist mentality or agreement of your opinions regardless of the reality.

How does it help? It helps in that the tools are being put into the hands of children. It helps in that these kids are able to do the important things like search for more information on a subject that interests them, to reach informed choices about the topics that matter to them, and to better enable them to prepare for a future that might actually get them out of the slums and into an acceptable level of living.

You do NOT need F/OSS for that. You don't NEED the best of breed to drive a car. You can do just fine in getting from Point A to Point B in a beat to shit old Honda.

What about CHOICE? These people OPTED to use Windows. We can argue that their children didn't opt to but do you really think that they care? No. I don't. The few that will care, later on down the road, will make those choices as well. Until then they have email, browsers that go to wikipedia, search engines to learn more about the world around them, and so much more. For that I am happy, for that I am grateful, and to be honest I don't give a shit if it runs Windows, Linux, RiscOS, or garbledygook! So long as the job is done and that job is getting this coming generation into the information age. The ends justify the means.

Re:The Goal? (2, Insightful)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036553)

Excellent point. Any kid that is at all interested in hacking it is going to dual boot. Its not like every kid in Peru would otherwise suddenly going to pick up the code and start hacking it.

Re:The Goal? (2, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036601)

We all probably started out on a closed source operating system... Why can't they? Why do we expect the results to be different? *sighs* People just flipped and modded my first post without actually thinking and maybe now I can post more often. ;)

Get the tools out there into the hands of the children via whatever means nessesary. Let them work on it and learn. If they want to hack the code, trust me (look at us for example), they will.

Speak for yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036683)

The machine code in the Spectrum ROM was open. That was its "OS".

The source code for UNIX was always available (you needed to bootstrap compile to get it to run).

"Growing up under CSS" is only true for a very small part of the ecosystem and almost all of them are not the people who made the system *you* learnt under.

Re:Speak for yourself (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036775)

You're fricken old! My first was a Vic-20 but I didn't have access to the OS code at all. Then again, I was like five and learning to program in BASIC with it because there was fuck all else to do on it. Until about five years ago I maintained SkiDownHillFaster for my own amusement. After that it was Amiga or Atari (I don't recall which) then a DEC that a buddy's mom brought me, and then Unix.

Re:Speak for yourself (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036795)

You're fricken old! My first was a Vic-20 but I didn't have access to the OS code at all.

You could get a commented ROM listing directly from Commodore. I had one for the C= 64.

Re:Speak for yourself (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036991)

I am not entirely sure but I should have been more clear. With the PET that was an option (it came with it) because I was like six (it was actually older than the Vic-20) my dad and I built one together. I don't know of one for the Vic-20. *sighs* It wasn't a very EFFECTIVE machine but I enjoy the memories of building it with him. It sat in a wooden box, no moving parts other than the keyboard as I recall. I remember clearly the smell of his aftershave, the oil from his rifle (he was a Marine), and the smell from the polish on his boots. We're talking 1979 so the memories are fuzzier than most.

So, well, to cite the above... It really doesn't matter the OS nor the "freedom of the code." What matters is that they have access and those who have the desire can do what they want with their technology. These kids who want to can and will put Linux on there. People seem to think I'm defending Microsoft (I do at some points but this is not a time where I feel I need to) but I am not. I am standing up for freedom, the freedom to choose, and I can understand why people will be unhappy that they didn't choose what they wanted them to pick but that's typical in any two sided debate. All I really care about is that they get computers. Don't you remember the excitement the first time you touched one? Did it REALLY matter what it ran as an OS at that point? Not to me it didn't.

10 Print "Hello World";
20 goto 10
30 End

Re:The Goal? (5, Insightful)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036655)

That's true, to a certain extent. But OLPCs running Linux would achieve the same end for less money. And chances are that Windows won't run as well as the version of Linux that this machine was designed to run.

And can poor people really afford to be sucked into the expensive world of Microsoft?

Re:The Goal? (3, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036921)

That is the only arguement that makes sense. Rather than the closed source vs. open source that one makes sense. In this case I have to say that there's enough freeware to make this work and given the publicity this is bound to be something that Microsoft does at little or no cost. (They do that you know... They do it to encourage adopting their platform of course but a business choice is not always a choice without ethics.)

As I responded to another poster... This is not ideal. Ideal is not something we often get in the real world. It is better than nothing in my opinion but that's just my opinion. I'd be more worried about the initial impact - how many children do not get a laptop because of the added cost? A small percentage will have a desire to get into the OS code but, to me, that's acceptable. The matter of initial cost is probably not as high as we're thinking at this scope.

Re:The Goal? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036785)

What about CHOICE? These people OPTED to use Windows. We can argue that their children didn't opt to but do you really think that they care? No. I don't. The few that will care, later on down the road, will make those choices as well.

No their GOVERNMENT opted for Windows. Given the history of corruption in many S-American countries I don't think that the question of whether Linux, RiscOS or Garbledygook OS would have done as good a job as Windows OS ever was ever even asked and if it was the question was quickly forgotten as soon as MS got through greasing the 'right people'.

Re:The Goal? (3, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036945)

I don't understand the why people automatically assume that there is bribery involved especially in a matter that is as open as this one. Could that have happened? Sure. Did it? Not to the best of my knowledge and I'm guessing you don't have any evidence to support your views either other than a perception which is nothing more than a preconceived notion.

Re:The Goal? (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037029)

"You do NOT need F/OSS for that. You don't NEED the best of breed to drive a car. You can do just fine in getting from Point A to Point B in a beat to shit old Honda."

  Yeah, but to push an analogy your beat-to-shit old Honda only runs on Gatesoline. And only one person supplies Gatesoline. Whereas my beat-to-shit Ford only runs on Fordol. Imagine a world where every brand of car used its own brand of compatible fuel, because the manufacturers sold the cars cheap and made profit on the fuel. And you couldn't just go to any filling station and expect to find your brand. Eventually everyone would just buy the car with the most filling stations. You buy a minority car and you run the risk of running out of your brand with nowhere to fill up in sight.

That's pretty much the world of proprietary, closed source and closed standards software. Isn't it much nicer that I can pull up to any filling station and expect them to have the right fuel for my car?

Re:The Goal? (4, Insightful)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036843)

When was the last time you touched Windows? I only ask because you seem to be labouring under a misapprehension. There is no mechanism in Windows that stops you running software that was not written by Microsoft. Just because I have Windows, does not mean I have to run MS Office. I could choose any one of a number of Office packages including Open Source ones.

Windows as a desktop platform is just as interoperable as any other desktop operating system, in fact more so because it will interoperate with Microsoft's proprietary stuff as well as all of the open standards.

You're keen on teaching children critical thinking, but you're happy to tell lies about an operating system you don't like. That's not setting them a good example is it?

Re:The Goal? (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036989)

Before complaining, ask why they asked for the change. Did it have to do with usability or some other reason. Then ask, what changes for the people using it? Do they get to learn technology, become computer literate, when they otherwise would not have? Or are they still behind where the rest of the world is?

If you are helping someone that is what is important. If the country believes a specific direction will help them more, then go with it. If you don't like it, don't help. But don't push your views and ideologies on others in turn for your help (if it were helping prevent genocide or human rights abuses that is one thing, but this is teaching someone what a computer is and what it can do for you). It is like saying to someone, I'll give you first aid if you pray to my God and not yours, even though it doesn't really matter which, as long as you help make them better.

When I hear complaints like this, I think of De gaul's line (paraphrased to be sure): "patriotism is good, nationalism is bad." One is being proud of your country, the other is being fanatical. One leads to healthy competition and raises everyone's standards and levels, and the other to narrow minded confrontation, war, and nothing good comes of it. Don't let your "computer nationalism" cloud over the fact that the end result is that they are still teaching people 21rst century skills and helping improve their lives through education and enabling further education.

Re:The Goal? (3, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036315)

That is about as close as you could get to a modern equivalent to the justifications for imperialism and colonialism of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, it's the same poor suckers that are getting victimised again.

Re:The Goal? (1, Troll)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036529)

And that is about the most retarded analogy ever. Please see my other response before typing further. I'm willing to listen to rebuttal but don't think I made the statements I made without thinking about them. The goal is to give these kids a chance. That chance doesn't NEED to be open source. I'd agree, entirely, that is SHOULD be open source but to state that it needs it is just foolhardy and showing a willingness to remain ignorant of the problems that these computers can actually solve.

Re:The Goal? (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036877)

How is it solving problems? Exactly how does the purchase of an OS ONLY benefit those that can't afford it? These computers have XP on them and a scaled down version at that. You aren't honestly suggesting they will be able to run any program made for XP are you? That "educational software" you keep talking about only increases the price. How is having to pay multiple license fees, not to say anything about the now needed resources to track those licenses just to keep the BSA at bay, of a benefit?

No, this move on OLPC was another example of the drug dealer's motto; The first hit is always free...

Re:The Goal? (4, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036905)

The goal is to give these kids a chance.

Who's goal? Because it certainly isn't Microsoft's. They want as much lock-in as they can get and they don't care how they get it. All large corporations want the same thing because they are driven by the demands of their shareholders for profit - and rightly so.

But the OLPC project wasn't started to enhance the balance sheet of Microsoft - yet it affects its credibility and its effectiveness for Microsoft to use it as a marketing tool and at the same time harms the chances of other projects that will find it harder to garner non-profit support when it is clear that at the point of success some profit-junky will just rush in to exploit it. That is the main reason why open source should be used - because it shares the vision that created the OLPC in the first place.

Re:The Goal? (4, Interesting)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036391)

Let's also keep in mind that fewer children get these laptops now due to license fees, and who will make profit out of this? Peru? The children of Peru? The guys behind OLPC?

No--but this guy [codinghorror.com] will.

Re:The Goal? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036635)

Sorry to respond to your post last but your post was the only one with a valid point. I conceed your point and I ask, "Is some better than none?" This is not ideal, few situations in life truly are ever ideal. Your post is my only real concern. The whole, "How much does that added cost actually cost in terms of fewer units making it into the hands of the children?" At initial math is looks like it is 1:10 which adds up to quite a lot. Someone with an eco/biz major can likely shine the light on it but it is *probably* more like 1:40 (numbers drawn completely out of my ass) but that is still one human being less.

It is not perfection. It is still better than what it was. It is all good to be an idealist but then the real world sometimes smashes the shit out of that idea. The world is not idyllic and I don't think it ever will be. Your response, someone should mod you up even higher, is about the only thing close to remotely justifying the anger that people have over this. I am just glad that *some* are to be enabled. To me some is better than none.

To those who complain about it, well... They should put up or shut up. Get off their asses and do something different if they want instead of sitting here complaining. I did the early on BOGO twice and gave them both to my children. They don't like them. They use a laptop instead. I should probably go take one of them from them so that I can play with it actually but that is a topic for another day.

Re:The Goal? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036809)

Well your point makes sense. Something is better than nothing. However this decision was not even close to necessary. I won't settle just because "at least someone got one". The case is crystal clear, a piece of hardware was created along with a piece of software, integrating them both. Then came a third party claiming that their expensive software, that from the start wasn't even remotely designed for this machine, was the natural choice only because it is used by the majority. The decision to adopt XP cannot have been for any other reason than just this, I mean flamebaiting aside but seriously, was it cheaper? was it faster? was it easier? No but it was bigger. Fine it was bigger, now what difference does that make? Does it teach the kids anything extra? Of course not, it's simply the f**king platform they use. Another argument is that it will "help" them in the when they need to use a computer other than the OLPC--they will have an easier transition that is. What kind of a f**king argument is that? Are these kids lobotomized? Are they absolutely brain dead? 7-year-old kids know 3 languages and are rendered normal, yet they're such idiots that can't realise the connection between the Start-button and the X-button? Come on, if anything their world will become just as retarded as my world is, packed with real life lobotomized idiots whom shit their pants when all their installed software are gone, just to realise that they are hidden under the [worthless] personalized menu--this after bothering me about it for hours first of course.

Re:The Goal? (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036439)

Interoperability to what ? Office ?

Frankly, do you believe that people will start programming on Windows platform, where there are plenty of tools ?
This will just introduce them to the culture of piracy, since they won't have the money to buy software.

Oh yes, they'll be mono-cultured with Microsoft, and not Linux, so Microsoft wins.

At best, you can expect that they'll be formed to allow cheap outsourcing.

Re:The Goal? (0, Troll)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036583)

Office sure as hell won't run on it effectively. Sites will work effectively though as will the vast amounts of software that only runs on Windows.

There are piles of dev tools that run on Windows, chances are that if it is available for Linux it is also ported to Windows so there are piles of free software applications that they can use. This isn't their be-all-end-all tool but a tool to get them started.

I agree this is a mono-cultured environment. That is better than nothing in my opinion. Those who are inclined will surely learn to change things.

As for cheap outsourcing? Well... It hasn't had all the greatness that some people think it has had but it has certainly raised the standard of living for many people in a variety of locations across the globe. India did this without even needing the OLPC. While all of India hasn't been able to increase their standard of living enough of them have so that it has made a difference.

I didn't make an off the cuff response in support of Microsoft nor the OLPC program. I thought it out and have been thinking about it since it was announced. I am GLAD that the laptops are going to the hands of the children and, honestly, I don't care what they're running so long as they have access to a search engine, email, and educational software. The platform is nothing to me in this case. I'll take the karma hits to say it too.

Hell, I'll even repeat it... I don't care what the platform is - I just care that this is going to benefit people who might not have been granted these chances otherwise. I don't care if it is running DogShitOS or PinkFluffyBunny. I don't care if it is closed source or open source. I care that the next generation of people are going to be offered a better standard of living than that which they would have faced otherwise.

Sorry if you don't get it but, well, that's a you thing and not a me thing. I have looked at it from every angle I can think of for quite some time now. Hell, a karma hit for a troll mod would just help me post more often then once every five or six minutes but the truth must be said. This is the truth as I see it. I'm not a closed source or open source zealot. I'm an advocate for the advancement of society and, no, that doesn't require open source.

Re:The Goal? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036749)

I agree this is a mono-cultured environment. That is better than nothing in my opinion.

"Windows: It's better than nothing!"

Where did you get the idea it was a choice of Windows or nothing? The choice is Windows, Linux, or nothing.

I didn't make an off the cuff response in support of Microsoft nor the OLPC program. I thought it out and have been thinking about it since it was announced. I am GLAD that the laptops are going to the hands of the children and, honestly, I don't care what they're running so long as they have access to a search engine, email, and educational software.

Gee, too bad Linux can't access search engines, email, or run educational software...

It's somewhat strange that you are making so many posts defending Windows on the OLPC when your position seems to be you don't give a shit.

Re:The Goal? (3, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036901)

Given that this was chosen by Peru for Peruvian children I'm sticking with yeah, it is better than nothing. I honestly don't care what it runs - but I defend Peru's freedom to select their operating system that they want to use for their children. You're talking to someone who makes the vast majority of their living from Linux. (Click my homepage link.) Your talking to someone who's contributed financially and code-wise to OSS for years. You're also talking to someone who actually manages to use Windows in the home because that does what he wants it to do how he wants it to do it.

There is no winning OS. There is no right or wrong when you compare proprietary vs. open source when the chips are down. What matters is that the job is done, done well enough, and that the people are getting what they want done how they want to do it.

My posts are clearly defending getting these tools into the hands of children regardless of what they run. For someone who is boosting the idea of Linux as a choice you seem to neglect the idea that other people make choices other than your own. They selected Windows. For better or worse, that's their choice. For someone who seemingly advocates freedom you don't seem to want to allow others the freedom to make their own choices.

You know what? Linux *does* offer searching, email, and educational software. Guess what? So does Windows. So does Amiga. So does RiscOS. So does FreeBSD. So does Mac. The small percentage of children who would understand and desire to alter their software at the OS level can and will find a means to do so regardless of the OS. That's what enabling them with a search engine, wikipedia, slashdot, and email will give them REGARDLESS of the operating system.

I know, for a fact, that if you drive an automobile and are not a mechanic you don't even begin to comprehend everything that goes on to get your automobile in motion. You probably understand the physics of a combustion engine but you sure as hell can't adjust the timing, change out the O2 sensors or calibrate them, and surely don't know what the OBDCII is doing to get the readings. Joe Six Pack Peruvian Style hasn't got to know those things to drive from one place to another to learn more and advance their knowledge. To think that they do is asinine, ignorant, and counter productive. If he wants to be a mechanic he can take his learn and to think that if he chooses he can't out a different OS on their instead of XP is just plain ignorant beyond all compare.

And yes, yes I did donate to OLPC - twice. If they put a GPS locater in there I'd buy one for myself in a heartbeat just to have one that didn't go to my children so that daddy had a new toy. STFU or put up. Start your own project if you want but to belittle the people putting technology in the hands of those who need it most because of your misguided sense of right and wrong shows how much of a cretin you are. You're probably the type of person who would tell a starving child* that they can't eat at McDonalds because you don't agree with their capitalistic ideals or because you feel that you have a moral right to tell them that they can't eat meat. There is such a thing as morals and ethics but when those actually hinder people instead of enabling them (however slight) you should stop imposing them.

*By starving I mean really starving to the point of exhaustion and near death not your likely misinterpretation of being hungry 'cause you haven't had a fucking pastry in the past 3 hours.

Re:The Goal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036869)

STFU you dumb ass shill... look at your last 5 comments in this threat alone, your obviously extremely pro MS, and most likely either payed by MS, or just got your MCSE and are the bested fucking wooptie do around.

Like it or Not (1)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036977)

The bulk of society has already adopted Windows. And the bulk of society is lazy -- far too lazy (or afraid) to change the OS that you buy the computer with to even a better OS.

The way to get people to adopt open source is to make it the easiest option to access. Currently, Open Source is always taking second place in terms of being the easiest to access because Microsoft cuts the line and puts their OS on every retail computer.

Most of Peru's computer users likely use Windows, so I can't see a problem with this.

Be careful in your advocacy (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036279)

This trial will be a great success. Everything will work great. If need be there will be one MS support person per child. The problems will come two years down the line when it turns out that vista's successor is needed to do any work with windows and doesn't run on the existing hardware. Remember the London stock exchange. Everybody knew how "Windows" increased it's stability. Now, it's two years later and nobody remembers that Windows was involved at the point when the whole thing crashes and can't be recovered.

Don't say that this trial will be bad or won't succeed. MS will throw everything they have to make it work. Do remember that Peru is building up problems for the future. Do try to explain how that will happen. Do remind people that the first trial has nothing to do with the reality. Do remind them that it's what happens two years or more down the line which you have to look at. Do remind them that the London Stock Exchange will never be credible again.

Re:Be careful in your advocacy (4, Interesting)

jimdread (1089853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036367)

It's okay for kids to learn how to use Microsoft software. Microsoft knows that they have to provide educational software for that to happen. They couldn't sit back and allow Linux to dominate that market. The Egyptian and Peruvian governments believe that their children must learn how to use Microsoft software, since it's dominant.

It's easy to imagine that it will all go wrong in the future, and maybe it will. One good thing is that if XP on the XO fails, it'll be easy to install Linux on those machines. So Microsoft can't afford to boost the project at the start, and then let it die. If they do that, Linux will take over. Microsoft will have to commit to this project for years to come.

This will also allow direct comparisons between countries which give their children XP XOs and countries which issue Linux XOs. If the Linux ones are working well and the Windows ones are breaking too easily, it'll look very bad for Microsoft. Conversely, if the Windows ones are working well and the Linux ones turn out not to be doing the job, then future countries might like to choose Windows for their XOs.

The XO project has forced Microsoft to directly compete with Linux on the desktop. This is a battle that Microsoft must win. But can they do it?

Re:Be careful in your advocacy (2, Insightful)

marc.andrysco (1173073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036581)

Yes, Microsoft will have to directly compete against Linux, but the bigger question is will Microsoft play fair. From Microsoft's history, I have to doubt that Linux and Windows will be given equal opportunity. What's going to stop these countries from purchasing Windows solely because the OS appears to work rather than which system provides better overall capabilities.

Also, weren't the specs of the OLPC laptop already bumped up in order to theoretically support Windows as they're now doing? If so, that would mean that the goal of the laptop to be super-dirt cheap was already subverted by being able to put MS on the thing anyway. Don't get me wrong, the whole project isn't an abysmal failure, but I have to believe that attempting to get MS to function on the laptop has already derailed a lot of the original project's intent. You know, that whole learning thing. Instead, I feel that Windows will simply teach the user to become accustomed to the status quo.

Quit the FUD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036511)

Remember the London stock exchange. Everybody knew how "Windows" increased it's stability. Now, it's two years later and nobody remembers that Windows was involved at the point when the whole thing crashes and can't be recovered.

So knowing the massive complexity of how a stock exchange system works you're certain it was Windows that caused the crash? Wow, you truly are worthy of those mod points.

MS were on both systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036625)

The systems went down and hard.

They never came up again until the end of the day. For a half hour. Then they closed early.

Since

a) the old system didn't do that AT ALL (they were proud of that)
b) there was an update to the MS software that was being rolled out

this seems to be a decent supposition to make. Absent any other information, the position that it was MS software that caused the problem is the primary resolution.

Unless you have information to prove something else at fault, your response is FUD busting with "lalala! Can't hear you!".

Re:MS were on both systems (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036715)

You made the claim. It's up to you to prove the link between the crash and the MS update! Everything you have said so far is supposition.

Re:MS were on both systems (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036929)

We don't have to prove that at all. All we have to prove is that Microsoft claimed a link between the change to Windows and improved stability. To prove that just look at the MS press releases about the project. Because of their previous claims, Microsoft has to prove that not only was the fault not linked to Windows, but that they could have done nothing reasonable to prevent it.

Expensive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036289)

TCO will be so much higher on winXP OLPC

OLPC interface may have been too far 'out there'

I would have gone down a more eeepc style desktop

Ofcourse MS$ help OLPC as a profit seeking company but let's not kid ourselves that this is not at the expense of poorer regions.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036733)

TCO? What the fuck are you talking about. There's no monthly fee you know.

Controversy? What controversy? (2, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036291)

Seriously, there is nothing controversial about someone else not agreeing with you or your beliefs.

Re:Controversy? What controversy? (4, Interesting)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036317)

The controversy is that the OLPC program started off with the goal of delivering an entirely open source machine, and ended up delivering Windows XP. I don't expect everyone to agree with each other, but at least agree with yourself.

Re:Controversy? What controversy? (5, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036369)

To be a bit more specific; OLPC took donations from people who believed they were helping to increase educational freedom in basic computing in the third world and used that money to further the aims of a company specifically trying to reduce that freedom. I'm not totally sure that Sugar is a good idea; I really don't know if OLPC with Linux could be perfect. However, I do know that the organisation was built up on money from people donating their second laptops and that those donations are being channeled into things many of those people don't belive in or wish to support.

Re:Controversy? What controversy? (3, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036499)

those donations are being channeled into things many of those people don't belive in or wish to support.

Whilst I don't know if Microsoft paid the "donate one get one" price that everyone else had to pay; I note that I seem to have been taken in by MS FUD [slashdot.org] and at least MS has had to pay something towards the cost of these laptops. Apologies to anyone at OLPC who I offended. I'll be more careful about trusting MS in future :-) :-(

Re:Controversy? What controversy? (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036763)

I thought the main goal was to bring affordable laptops to children around the world, and that OSS was just a means to an end.

Re:Controversy? What controversy? (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036867)

The controversy is that the OLPC program started off

Nah, man. That isn't the "controversy" at all. It's all about this massive secret the reporter uncovered from the seedy underbelly of The Internet, and chose to enlighten us with:

This puts the nation at the heart of a software controversy that has been raging for years between those who advocate making software and its source code free, such as Linux OS developers, and those who charge for software and keep the development recipes secret, such as Microsoft."

See? See? A raging controversy! And it must be that no one's ever heard of it, because the author felt it necessary to describe it in detail-- so much so that half the summary is just this revelation alone! Whoa!

And I'll be first (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036293)

To put goatse [goatse.cz] or better yet, the Last Measure Operating System, on them.

I wish (2, Informative)

jsse (254124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036323)

they'd make haste, as it'd be very awkward if the trial went passed Windows XP's life cycle. [microsoft.com]

Otherwise they might have to do another trial on Vista; and by the time the trial ends, Vista's life cycle...

So... the OLPC... (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036325)

* Microsoft used every trick they could, including subsidies from the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, to destroy OLPC/Linux projects.
* The OLPC was never distributed en-masse to developers who could have turned it into a living ecosystem.
* Running Windows on the OLPC is just stupid.
* Cheap netbooks will make the OLPC redundant.
* While Microsoft was attacking the OLPC, it lost sight of the fact that Linux is the obvious choice for Chinese netbooks. ... in ten years time every schoolkid in Latin America, Asia, and Africa will be using netbook-style computers that cost $20 and they will be running Linux, and they will have everything the OLPC wanted to have, and more.

Free software will, eventually, set us free. ("us" = "everyone on the planet except the rich who can afford toys that lock them in and rob them blind").

Re:So... the OLPC... (1)

djfake (977121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036335)

Let's not forget Peru's involvement. They were led to believe that a child would/could/should only learn one operating system, and since Windows is most pervasive in the world, it's the "right" choice. Convinced, Peru insisted on XP.

Re:So... the OLPC... (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036413)

To some extent, every successful community needs a bad guy [ipocracy.com]. So pushing XP in Peru will probably promote interest in free software and stimulate FOSS activists to work on educating government about the importance of free software.

Any responsible politician should be encouraging a home grown FOSS industry because it creates the basis for future jobs. Learning Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds.

If I was paranoid... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036597)

I would say this is an effort by MS to make the OLPC project look unattractive to the eyes of FOSS developers, thus starving the OLPC of developer effort. I've been to two XO developer days and on both days the OLPC people were questioned and were very explicit in their replies: that Windows is not part of the OLPC project and that the Windows port is an independent privateer effort by Microsoft. Despite the clear denials someone keeps spreading rumours the OLPC has replaced or partially replaced Linux with Windows.

Re:So... the OLPC... (4, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036623)

Any responsible politician should be encouraging a home grown FOSS industry because it creates the basis for future jobs. Learning Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds.

An insightful comment if ever I read one.

I wonder, though, if we can extend the metaphor and conclude that the future IT professionals of Peru can now aspire to becoming the equivalent of drive-through-window order takers or, for the more highly skilled or experienced among them, certified fry cooks.

Or would that be too unfair? ;-)

Re:So... the OLPC... (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036937)

Any responsible politician should be encouraging a home grown FOSS industry because it creates the basis for future jobs. Learning Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds.

Absolute nonsense. Jobs are created when people are prepared to pay money for something. If it was only about creating jobs, politicians should be encouraging a home grown proprietary software industry because only with that model can you get money for actually writing the software (as opposed to providing support or professional services for it). Fortunately, it's not about creating jobs.

Peru & Microsoft?? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036471)

Let's not forget Peru's involvement. They were led to believe that a child would/could/should only learn one operating system, and since Windows is most pervasive in the world, it's the "right" choice. Convinced, Peru insisted on XP.

But wasn't Peru firmly in the anti-Microsoft camp a few years ago, when they passed a law that all government computers should run open source software?

Re:Peru & Microsoft?? (2, Informative)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036709)

Never happened. OTOH, Peru has a HUGE piracy market, known locally as "Wilson Galleries" or "Wilson st." in the case of software, "Mesa Redonda" and "El Hueco" for music and video. And let's not forget "Polvos Azules" for bootlegging, "Tacora" and "La Victoria" (a whole district) for stolen car parts and "Malvinas Ave." for pretty much everything ele that's been stolen.

The availability of cheap (stolen/counterfeit/pirated) computers and software has pushed MS deep into the peruvian psyche as the one and only option.

Re:Peru & Microsoft?? (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036719)

No, that would be Ecuador, which also voted against Microsoft's arrogant pushing of OOXML through ISO, and appealed the bogus approval that format got.

Peru has been a MSFT client state since before the current presidency. There is a lot of work to do there. Luckily MSFT insist on playing the bad guy, which makes such work a lot easier.

Re:So... the OLPC... (3, Insightful)

renoX (11677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036805)

>* Cheap netbooks will make the OLPC redundant.

I agree with your previous points, but not this one: netbooks have a fan (so are more fragile), consume as much power as regular laptops (which they are with a smaller screen), their screen cannot be read easily in daylight on a sunny day, they don't have mesh networking, etc: there are many reasons why the OLPC XO-1 is better suited for the third world schools than netbooks (even running Linux).

>* While Microsoft was attacking the OLPC, it lost sight of the fact that Linux is the obvious choice for Chinese netbooks.

Not really, hence their push for Windows-XP for netbooks. Chinese users have always pirated Windows, why wouldn't they pirate Windows XP for their netbooks. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft make a Vista-light or keep making an XP version for those netbooks to ensure that Linux's usage stay marginal.

>in ten years time every schoolkid in Latin America, Asia, and Africa will be using netbook-style computers that cost $20 and they will be running Linux, and they will have everything the OLPC wanted to have, and more.

Maybe, have you noticed that the price of netbooks since the first EEE 701 have only gone up?
Hardware makers don't like too cheap hardware because they're afraid of loosing sells of higher priced laptops..

Meanwhile.... (2, Funny)

tgoodmannz (836016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036355)

In Other news, South America suddenly has reported a massive jump in instance of BotNet initiated spam......

Drivers (4, Interesting)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036365)

What about drivers? Windows has very few drivers compared to Linux, so won't this have only minimal support for extra USB devices? I don't think 3rd party drivers will work on the OLPC.

Re:Drivers (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036373)

What about drivers? Linux has very few drivers compared to Windows, so won't this have only minimal support for extra USB devices? I don't think 3rd party drivers will work on the OLPC.

fixed it for you.

Re:Drivers (5, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036407)

Well you're wrong. The linux kernel comes with far more drivers than Windows comes with natively. The majority of drivers that people use in Windows are 3rd party and Microsoft does not have the source code for them. Microsoft cannot recompile 3rd party drivers for the OLPC.

Re:Drivers (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036415)

exactly. 3rd parties make drivers for windows xp you fucking crack smoker.

Re:Drivers (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036521)

Not all of them, and even then there's a hell of a lot more stuff that "just works" in linux these days, without having to find a cd, or go hunting on the internets.

Re:Drivers (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036569)

name me one device that could be used on one of these laptops that doesn't have drivers for windows, but has them for linux?

Re:Drivers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036741)

ur ugly face

Re:Drivers (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036743)

A USB to serial converter i bought the other week. Just works on linux, windows XP and Vista don't recognise it and can't find a driver even when they go online to search.

Re:Drivers (2, Interesting)

Curtman (556920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036773)

I can't see this being a problem with the OLPC having all the same hardware, but you never know with Microsoft.

If you've ever had the experience of trying to install XP on a laptop when XP knows nothing about the network device, and you can't find your disk then you would know what GP was talking about. Boot up a Linux Live CD and download the driver is about the only solution unless you have another PC around to retrieve the stupid driver.

It's rare to find hardware that doesn't work in Linux, and also rare to find hardware that works out of the box with XP these days.

Re:Drivers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036523)

Windows users are the idiotic crack smokers.

Re:Drivers (1)

brucmack (572780) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036707)

Is there any reason to believe that normal Windows drivers won't work on the OLPC? It's not like they had to port Windows to a totally new architecture - it's using an AMD x86 processor.

I agree that Windows on OLPC is a silly idea, but driver support is not an argument to use here.

Re:Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036969)

that's what the parent said "Windows has very few drivers compared to Linux". so you are wrong.

pilot project of Microsoft, not Peru (5, Informative)

teazen (876487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036375)

Ed McNierney, Vice President of Software Development of OLPC sent a message to the OLPC-devel mailing list today, stating that "Microsoft has previously ordered a number of XO laptops for XP testing and pilot deployment. The usage and distribution of these machines for that effort is up to Microsoft, and that's what they're doing in Peru."

So Microsoft does a tiny-weeny implementation with one pilot school in Peru all by itself, while the main deployment in Peru with about 260.000 laptops will run Sugar on Linux. But no reporter seems to take the time to fud-check Microsoft's press statements. Surprise!

Re:pilot project of Microsoft, not Peru (2, Interesting)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036433)

Well thanks for clarifying that...my first thought was wtf are they doing this for when Peru already passed a law [slashdot.org] favouring open source three years ago.

Re:pilot project of Microsoft, not Peru (5, Interesting)

teazen (876487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036605)

What also needs clarifying perhaps is that it's not OLPC that's abandoning Linux for Windows. OLPC is basically becoming more and more a hardware vendor. It's not OLPC that does the deployments and it's not OLPC that decides what software will be shipped with the cute green thingies. That would be the governments and grassroots organizations that buy said laptops.

Here in Nepal, where our grassroots organization has started a pilot project, there's as of yet not all to much help from OLPC, except from IRC and mailing-list traffic. Also Sugar for example is now handled by an independent organization called Sugarlabs, even though the developers of OLPC and Sugarlabs still work together.

So there's at least three parties, but usually the playing field is quite a bit more complicated in a deployment zone (rivalling hardware vendors, the relationship between grassroots organizations and governments, elections, etc...), and all players can mix and match with others. We for example can run our educational software on a classmate if we want or need to. And Sugar is on the way to be ported to other platforms. Windows can run on the XO...

Also the headlines about the XO lately make it seem like Windows has already won the race. But the reality atm is that there are 55k Linux/Sugar XO's are being shipped every month and a stable, workable Windows on the XO is still a few months away. Also the new round of Give One Get One will contain Linux, not Windows. And I have yet to hear of a confirmed large scale XO deployment with Windows on in stead of Linux.

quickly, bash microsoft (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036383)

it couldn't possibly be the fact the linux distro on OLPC was a piece of shit that lead to XP being chosen, could it.

Re:quickly, bash microsoft (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036525)

And in what way was it a "piece of shit"? It was designed to support basic hardware with basic software for basic users, at a low cost. It would eventually do exactly what it was meant to do, and by eventually I mean when all software was optimized and stabilized enough.

Re:quickly, bash microsoft (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036579)

"and by eventually I mean when all software was optimized and stabilized enough."

i think you answered your own question there

Re:quickly, bash microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036645)

As opposed to XP getting leaner so it does not consume all of the memory and very small amount of storage just for the OS and nothing else? lol.

Re:quickly, bash microsoft (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036935)

Yeah I answered my own question alright. Appearantly in your world you push a button and a flawless piece of code is written. How can you not recognise testing, optimizing and stabilizing as an ongoing process of any software?

Re:quickly, bash microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036561)

XP on the OLPC is considerably more of a piece of shit and the end result in all of this is advocating people to pirate more software and nothing else. Microsoft "wins" and no one else.

Indeed (1)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036389)

Microsoft doesn't like to lose, and they will do ANYTHING to win. That doesn't necessarily translate to better products of course.

Just because they've been caught with their pants down regarding the emergence of netbooks/sub-notebooks, doesn't mean they won't find a way to dominate there as well.

User experience (1, Insightful)

rev_deaconballs (1071074) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036479)

The issue is not which operating system is better but which is easier. The concept is that OLPC computers are going to children that do not have access to computers. As much as you don't like Microsoft it is easier to use for people who are not already familiar with computers.

Re:User experience (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036699)

The issue is not which operating system is better but which is easier. The concept is that OLPC computers are going to children that do not have access to computers. As much as you don't like Microsoft it is easier to use for people who are not already familiar with computers.

"It's an education project, not a laptop project." [laptop.org]
â" Nicholas Negroponte

Mission Statement: To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

You are so wrong there. Microsoft is trying hard to make the ClassMate look like an educational tool, but the truth is it's the same uneducational closed-up Windows we all know.

Unfortunately, the Software was Poor (1, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036531)

While I don't doubt that Microsoft has went to strenuous efforts to make sure that XP gets on these devices (cheap, small form factor devices are a huge, gaping hole in Microsoft's OEM channel) these projects always manage to shoot themselves in the foot, and the problem here is the software. Sugar is just complete shit, quite frankly. A self-righteous piece of software, full of its own self-importance, that didn't really solve or offer anything.

Now, maybe if somebody had got a clue, looked around the free software landscape and pre-installed some of the great educational software we have (KDE's EDU suite of apps, for example) that Microsoft couldn't pre-install by default on XP, that would have been worth something to a lot of people. If Negropante had any vision, he would have really put effort into the software, and even if Windows XP was pushed people would have used the free software anyway - because it was so good. Alas, another opportunity has been missed.

321321321 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036555)

http://www.xyator.ru/

XP On School Computers (5, Insightful)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036653)

With Windows installed, the students will be able to learn how to use Office to create documents and pay their MS tax. With Sugar, thy might have a chance to learn how Operating Systems work, can change and compile their own if they want to, and a locked down OS miht have helped keep many common pieces of malware away. I thought the OLPC was supposed to be a learning tool, not just another $100 netbook.

Education? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036663)

How can anyone expect an uneducated government (IT wise) to set up a sound education plan based solely on IT? How about we begin with OLPM (One Laptop Per Minister), and then move to phase 2?

We latino americans like it that way. (0, Troll)

Ateocinico (32734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036703)

First of all I am latin american so stop the racist and pseudo-leftist patronizing now. The reasons why peruvian authorities choose Windows over Linux are obvious to me: first, because Windows (whichever version) is the stuff used by characters in tv series from the USA like "Grey' Anatomy", "the Sarah Connors chronicles" etc. Remember when John Connor enters a computer shop? What was the computer running? Vista! And this is the source of information for our decision makers, which are usually the least qualified but best connected people.
The second reason is what I call the "click mentality". All what the people wants is to make a click with the mouse and instantly have their pirated music and games automatically downloaded, and open a messaging session for sharing gossips and trivialities. And in Windows, all the applications that allow this download instantly without asking. Most people, including university students, would not mind a laptop if their cellphone had a bigger screen! Many engineering students make sacrifices for buying a Hp49 or Hp50 scientific calculator and they don't learn how to program it or use the embedded symbolic solver either. What matters is to rub it on others faces. I am cooler than you!
This is my experience after installing and writing software, and managing computer systems and networks in latin america since the 80's and that includes DOS, every version of Windows, Netware, SCO and Linux. People don't mind technology. The mind "coolness" and instant gratification.

Re:We latino americans like it that way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036753)

So you're saying latin americans are really dumb..

Development recipes (1)

illuminum (1356693) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036711)

Microsoft's development recipe: 0. Sign NDA with developer staff 1. Open open-source 2. Copy 3. Paste 4. Customize 5. Compile 6. Put sourcecode under lock

What controversy? (1)

Fleeced (585092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036735)

"This puts the nation at the heart of a software controversy..."

Not going open source is a controversy now? When did that happen?

I'm not sure it's all that complicated (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036783)

This puts the nation at the heart of a software controversy...

I'm not really certain it's so much an OSS v proprietary story as much as government officials being influenced by big corporate money.

Only a trial (3, Informative)

The New Andy (873493) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036787)

Open Source On The Air [fosscasts.org] has an interview with Pia Waugh which talks about this. The vast majority of the laptops will be Linux, there is a small trial of Windows (and as you'd expect, it doesn't run so well).

Unified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036851)

At least they'll have a unified platform, not a miriad of standards. I don't really care if it's Windows XP I find Windows XP a good OS, the only point one could make about XP is that it's paied because no end user cares if the source code is open, closed or whetever because they'll never touch it.

The geeks will always do their stuff with their PCs.

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