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Microsoft Says Windows May Soon Be On XO Laptop

Posted by egovindia on October 29, 2007

Microsoft Says Windows May Soon Be On XO Laptop

http://www.informat ionweek.com/ news/showArticle .jhtml?articleID =202601773

The low-cost laptop computer for poor children currently runs on rival
Linux software.

By Reuters
InformationWeek
October 25, 2007 07:00 PM

BOSTON – Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has made progress in getting its
Windows software to work on a low-cost laptop computer for poor
children that currently runs on rival Linux software, an executive
said Thursday.

The world’s largest software company is now working to adapt a basic
version of Windows XP so it is compatible with the non-profit One
Laptop per Child Foundation’s small green- and-white XO laptop.

“We’re spending a non-trivial amount of money on it,” Microsoft
Corporate VP Will Poole said in an interview Thursday. “We’re working
hard. But we’re still at least a few months away.”

The One Laptop per Child Foundation, a spin-off from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
, plans to start producing the $188 machines in
China next month and eventually manufacture millions a year for
elementary school children in developing countries in Asia, Africa and
Latin America.

The foundation is also selling the machines in the United States and
Canada for $400 apiece through a fundraising campaign.

The laptops were designed specifically to run Linux programs. If the
machines run only Linux, Microsoft will lose an opportunity to expose
tens of millions of children worldwide to its Windows system.

“We’ve made progress,” Poole said.

If the foundation is able to meet its goal of producing millions of
laptops for school children around the world and they are all loaded
with Linux software, then they would end up being more comfortable
with those programs than with Windows, said Wayan Vota, who publishes
a blog that monitors the project. (http://olpcnews. com/).

“People will realize there is an alternative to Windows and they might
like it better,” Vota said.”

Originally dubbed the $100 laptop, which is the group’s target price
for the machine, the XO features a string pulley to charge its
battery, a keyboard that switches between languages, a digital video
camera
and wireless connectivity.

The laptop’s designer, Mary Lou Jepsen, said in an interview earlier
this month she expects the price to drop in the first quarter of next
year because prices of memory tend to fall dramatically during that
period.

The computer requires just 2 watts of power compared with the typical
laptop’s 30 to 40 watts and does away with hard drives, relying
instead on flash memory and four USB ports to add memory devices.

The XO laptop’s component makers include Advanced Micro Devices Inc
and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Software maker Red Hat Inc helped
develop the device. Quanta Computer Incwill manufacture it.

The foundation will start taking orders for its Give 1 Get 1 campaign
on Nov. 12 at http://www.laptopgi ving.org.

By: Jim Finkle

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