The One Laptop Per Child program will put XP on its XO laptop and children in the developing world will have a choice between Windows and Linux.
On the surface, a little choice isn’t going to kill anybody. In fact, choice is good. And if some poor kids can get a laptop, learn a bit and be exposed to the world I don’t care about the operating system.
But here’s what gives me pause about XP coming to the XO (statement, Techmeme): There’s no way Linux will get an equal shake on OLPC’s XO. In fact, I reckon that more XO units will ship with XP than Linux in the not too distant future. Why? Governments are making the buying decisions. Not kids.
As Mary Jo Foley reports XOs will go with either Linux or Windows based on the preference of governments. Quoting an OLPC spokeswoman, Mary Jo reports:
“Laptops will be installed with one of two operating systems - Microsoft Windows OR Linux-based Sugar OS at the factory, based on the preference of governments and NGOs. In the case of these trials, the XOs will ship with Windows. In addition to these choices, in the future OLPC intends to develop … the ability to have both on the same machine.”
How quickly will the OLPC (all resources) have both on one machine? Probably not quickly.
The big question: What OS would the kids choose? I’d argue that the Linux interface would win. I’ve seen my own daughter navigate the XO Linux operating system even though I couldn’t. Kids just get it. Let’s compare and contrast..
Posted By: IndoSourceCode