Low-cost “netbooks” were originally designed with Linux in mind, but once sales began to skyrocket Microsoft quickly moved to get its Windows operating system running on these devices. That was also true for the One Laptop per Child project, which is now finally ready to embrace XP as an alternative to power their XO-1 laptop.
Peru will be the first country to receive shipments for the Windows version of the XO-1, which will include a “tweaked” version of Windows XP and Microsoft’s low-cost version of Office, as part of a nine-month pilot program. No word on whether this newest version of the so-called $100 laptop will use a dual-boot Windows XP/Sugar combination.
The OLPC XO notebook has had more than its share of troubles since it was announced, but it is slowly starting to trickle into developing nations around the world. The move will help – albeit a tad late – OLPC to better compete with Intel’s Classmate and others, while Microsoft on the other hand sees this as a major step forward in its effort to grab a larger share of the netbook market.
Many argue that, by adopting Windows, the OLPC is compromising their purely educational goals. But given the poor demand for the laptop and mounting pressure from competitors, one can’t blame them for attempting to reach a broader market by having the familiar OS available as an option.