Porting Sugar to Windows


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Nicholas Negroponte has had a stroke of genius. (This link goes to a cleaned-up version of the HTML e-mail that NN sent to a text-only mailing list.) If we get Sugar ported to Windows, then will become a Trojan Horse that Microsoft will promote to developing nations, and much of our work is done for us. This will be by far the fastest method of getting Sugar to as many children as possible. And once we've done it, everybody will convert to Sugar on Linux, because it is so obviously superior, thus destroying Microsoft, as the Greeks did to Troy in the Trojan Horse analogy. So let's go that route. It is not yet clear whether this is intended to mean OLPC putting time and money into the port, or just leaving it to Microsoft to do. Several of us have put that question to NN, but he has not answered it.

Or, alternatively, NN has had a stroke of madness. If we get Sugar ported to Windows, then Windows will take over the world, locking the poor in forever, and it will be our fault. But Scott Ananian claims that Sugar can't be ported effectively to Windows, with the implication that it will take a year or more to get even a feeble version running. And in any case, one can run Sugar-on-Linux on Windows in emulation or in CoLinux right now, because Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04) includes Sugar packages. Or put a Sugar/Linux Live CD in a Windows PC, or even an x86 Mac, and not bother porting. Whether that works on the XO remains to be seen, because nobody outside Microsoft has access to MS WinXP prototypes for the XO.

Or not. Sugar on Windows could be an irrelevance, because we aren't going to outsmart Microsoft, and Linux is growing steadily without such shenanigans. Don't forget, the 800 lb. gorilla doesn't have to outsmart you.

Others argue for a Linux/Windows dual-boot configuration of the XO, which Negroponte has discussed with Microsoft. Microsoft is against it.

NN: "We have been engaged in discussions with Microsoft for several months, to explore a dual boot version of the XO."

Microsoft denies dual-boot Linux/Windows XO laptops are on its agenda: "While we have investigated the possibility in the past, Microsoft is not developing dual-boot Windows XP support for One Laptop Per Child’s XO laptop."

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