The One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) and Microsoft are working together to develop a dual-boot system to put both Linux and Windows on laptops aimed at kids in developing countries, the head of OLPC said in an interview Tuesday.
"We are working with them very closely to make a dual-boot system so that, like on an Apple, you can boot either one up. The version that's up and running of Windows on the XO is very fast, it's very, very successful. We're working very hard to do both," said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of OLPC.
It's a brand new development for the XO laptops, as the low-cost notebooks are known, and came about because of Microsoft's friendlier attitude towards open source software.
Microsoft has embraced the open source community over the past few years in a very different way than before, Negroponte said. "And that really helps, because it's become a little bit less religious than it was a few years ago and that's really good. In the end, I think, the more people that have software and hardware out there, the better."
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The One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) plans to launch OLPC America in 2008 to distribute the low-cost laptop computers originally aimed at developing nations to needy students in the United States.
The group, which was formed in the U.S. by teachers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), came under criticism shortly after forming because its original mission did not include the U.S.
"The whole thing is merging right now. It will be state-centric. We're trying to do it through the 50 state governments," he said.
The decision to launch OLPC America came about due to three considerations:
The One Laptop Per Child Project would welcome Intel back if the chip maker returned to the group, the head of OLPC said Tuesday.
"It was very unfortunate what happened with Intel and I hope there's a way of rebuilding it in the future because there's no interest in OLPC pushing Intel out. It just is not in our interest. Our goal is to get this to as many children as possible," said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of OLPC, in an interview.