MS FAQ

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What is the 'announcement' about Microsoft?

OLPC has created one of the most open hardware platforms in the world to complement our development of Sugar on GNU/Linux, open source software. Microsoft engineers have ported Windows XP to the XO, writing drivers to take advantage of the sunlight readable display, the wireless capabilities, the camera and other hardware features. The announcement can be found here: http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/15/technology/microsoft_olpc.fortune/. Information on plans by Microsoft associated with the Unlimited Potential program can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/unlimitedpotential/default.mspx

What is the benefit to OLPC with this Microsoft announcement?

There are only a few ways to get the cost of hardware down to something that is affordable everywhere: One is to raise money to be able to give the laptops away, and the other is to produce in large enough quantities that the cost of parts drops significantly. OLPC is working on both of these fronts. Many of the bids for technology in education require that Microsoft software runs on any laptop or computer for a school system. Getting more XO hardware into the world will significantly lower the cost for the developing countries.

What is the damage to OLPC from this Microsoft announcement?

The Dual-boot solution?

From autumn 2008 onwards, OLPC's open firmware permits the XO to boot a Linux or Windows operating system, see dual-boot. Prior to that XP required proprietary firmware to run the XO.

OLPC will not be selling Windows products, so use Microsoft webpages to find out about availability of Microsoft products.

How does Windows XP run on the XO today?

XP requires a 2GB SD card to run on the XO-1.

Is there a plan for increasing flash on the Laptop?

OLPC is working on the XO-1.5 model which will have additional flash memory of the laptop. There is no announced schedule for this yet. We will continue to produce and sell the original, more economical version with Sugar and GNU/Linux to meet the needs of many of our deployments.

Can I get Windows for my G1G1 XO?

OLPC will not be OEM or a Dealer in Microsoft software, so we won't have information on cost and availability of Microsoft products. (Microsoft's Unlimited Potential program is aimed at providing software to countries most in need, not the G1G1 program.)

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