Digital Journal — Microsoft wants to rule the world, even Third World countries where $100 laptops for children will soon be prevalent. In a move bound to spark controversy, Microsoft announced it wants Windows XP to be installed in the computers for the project One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).
The software giant wants to extend its reach by bringing XP to the XO laptop, a low-cost Linux laptop available to developing countries for around $100.
Microsoft is requesting XO designers add a port to boost the storage capacity via an SD card so Windows XP can run on the system. The XO can only hold 1GB of flash memory, but Microsoft says XP could run on 2GB total memory.
James Utzschneider, a Microsoft general manager, said in a recent blog post:
"Much of the technology in the XO is developed using open source technology licenses that make it difficult for engineers employed by commercial software companies like Microsoft to work directly on the project."
Microsoft also said it is planning limited field trials in January of an XO computer running Windows XP.
This is typical Microsoft: getting its nose into the business of smaller players who want to release the least expensive product possible. The OLPC execs reportedly don’t want a system bloated with a Windows operating system, but Microsoft clearly isn’t hearing it.
As anyone who has purchased an operating system knows, Microsoft doesn’t like giving away its software on the cheap, so OLPC supporters are worried the XO’s cost will increase if XP is installed on it.
Some food for thought: Isn’t XP the last generation of Window’s OS? Like one popular Mac/PC ad illustrates, isn't it at least a little bit funny that Microsoft itself is "downgrading" to XP rather than pushing Vista on the OLPC?
It looks as though Microsoft can’t stand seeing a Linux device win attention around the world, so expect its insistence to bring XP to the XO to increase in the coming months.