Ask OLPC a Question about our software/Summary

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What software will be used with the $100 laptop?

The one-laptop-per-child computer (OLPC) is delivered with some general purpose software: web browser; word processor; basic tools for personal expression; etc. There are also high-quality educational examples of OLPC use. A more complete list is found here.

OLPC is working with Red Hat on a Linux kernel for the machine, but we are opening up the design; it is inevitable that there will be several variants of Linux to choose from, as well as some version of Windows, and perhaps an OS X offering.

We made a decision to base the OLPC laptop on open-source software in order to provide countries (as well as the teachers and the children) with the freedom to decide for themselves what to place on the machines, and to share and localize examples of best practice generated domestically and taken from abroad.

Open-source software gives children the opportunity to “own” the machine in every sense. While we don't expect every child to become a programmer, we don't want any ceiling imposed on those children who choose to reach towards complexity. 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.

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