Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Jan 2008 22:21 UTC, submitted by WillM
Hardware, Embedded Systems The One Laptop Per Child Project 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.
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Why bother with dual boot?
by Almafeta on Wed 9th Jan 2008 23:31 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Once you've got Windows on, why waste space (especially if it's as limited as the XO's) with a Linux secondary boot?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why bother with dual boot?
by jabbotts on Wed 9th Jan 2008 23:57 UTC in reply to "Why bother with dual boot?"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Once you've got a Linux based OS on, why waste space (especially if it's as limited as the XO's) with a Windows secondary boot?

Reply Score: 23

RE[2]: Why bother with dual boot?
by Duffman on Thu 10th Jan 2008 11:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Why bother with dual boot?"
Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

Because you want to run software that do not run on linux like office, watch DRM wmv files (despite you like them or not), etc ...

Be totaly compatible with 95% of the computer on earth ...

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Why bother with dual boot?
by lemur2 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why bother with dual boot?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Because you want to run software that do not run on linux like office, watch DRM wmv files (despite you like them or not), etc ...

Be totaly compatible with 95% of the computer on earth ...


You aren't going to be able to run MS Office on an XO.

It has only 1GB of storage. Microsoft are talking about adding an extra 1GB just to fit their bare Windows OS on it.

No application programs for YOU!

If you are actually interested, here are the applications of the XO that come pre-packaged with the Linux default install:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activities

... and this is the word processor:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Write

You are simply not going to be able to fit this level of functionality, plus Windows OS, into 1 GB of storage, or even 2 GB.

Edited 2008-01-10 12:20 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06


You aren't going to be able to run MS Office on an XO.

It has only 1GB of storage. Microsoft are talking about adding an extra 1GB just to fit their bare Windows OS on it.


That leads another question: will Microsoft provide a {2 or 4 GB} SD card that includes their operating system? Afterall, they are the one that request OLPC to include an extra SD slot.


You are simply not going to be able to fit this level of functionality, plus Windows OS, into 1 GB of storage, or even 2 GB.


Also why not taking a Pocket PC version Windows system (formely Windows CE) then use the available application?

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

XO needs Windows so kids can watch DRM'd media.. I have another aproach; open formats.

But then again, I've had no trouble playing any media on my Mandriva or Windows bootups so it seems one doesn't require Windows to play DRM'd formats. I guess all XO has to do is include one of the codec packs that can be legally obtained for Red Hat (what with that being under the hood of the XO and all).

I was going to point out the humour in copying the first comment and swapping the two words originaly but I figured I may as well answer your sarcasm.

Cheers Duffy

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why bother with dual boot?
by raver31 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 10:21 UTC in reply to "Why bother with dual boot?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Hopefully my sarcasm detector was working and it picked that one up correctly. If so, hehehehe very funny.
If not, you seriously need help young man.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by desNotes
by desNotes on Thu 10th Jan 2008 00:19 UTC
desNotes
Member since:
2006-05-26

I think Mary Jo Foley says it best:

"First: Why would anyone — kids, governments and/or laptop makers — want a dual-boot Linux/Windows OLPC systems in the first place? Dual-boot Macs make sense: There are some Windows-only programs that Mac users want/need to run. But this scenario doesn’t make sense for the kinds of apps that XO laptops will be geared to run."

It sounds like nothing more than posturing, with no thought for the intended consumers.

Reply Score: 6

then
by Mellin on Thu 10th Jan 2008 01:04 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

kids can learn about the wonderfull world of windows malware ;)

Edited 2008-01-10 01:05 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: then
by pandronic on Thu 10th Jan 2008 07:54 UTC in reply to "then"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

They could learn a useful skill - using the OS that over 95% of the world uses - and not just a crippled GUI from fantasy land.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: then
by Ford Prefect on Thu 10th Jan 2008 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: then"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

What a usefull "skill" -- when they are grown up, there won't be that OS any more. Even Windows has to change radically, see Vista.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: then
by raver31 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE: then"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

You do realise of course that to actually fit XP onto the device, that XP is going to be seriously crippled ?

Some people should not be allowed near the post comment button, you are one of them.

Edited 2008-01-10 10:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: then
by wirespot on Thu 10th Jan 2008 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE: then"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Who said that doing something that a lot of others are doing is automatically a good thing? How about considering the reasons they are doing it for (ie. they are sheeple). Or what exactly are they learning from using Windows (ie. to monkey around, point and click, change their wallpaper and they're dead in the water).

So please don't use "learn" and "Windows" in the same sentence again. Most people use it because it comes with their computer or because they don't know better, and they click around like ninnies. They don't develop any useful skills whatsoever. They develop reflexes, at best.

If they learned anything, they'd be able to comprehend at least on some level how computers work, and then it wouldn't make any difference if they sit in front of a Windows or Mac or Linux desktop, since nowadays they use common, convergent concepts.

If somebody ever comes to me and boasts that they "know how to use Windows", so help me God if I won't send for some hay and make them munch on it. Jesus, like it's anything of significance in today's day and age. Do you feel proud about knowing how public transportation works? Woo hoo, call Mensa, we may have the next Einstein here.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: then
by Mellin on Thu 10th Jan 2008 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: then"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

Where do you get that 95% from ? (source please!)

Reply Score: 2

Sigh...
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 10th Jan 2008 06:27 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

So there goes our great hope of millions of children growing in a Microsoft-free environment ;)

Reply Score: 11

Disappointing
by Gorgak on Thu 10th Jan 2008 08:07 UTC
Gorgak
Member since:
2007-05-30

If this is true, it's disappointing. It's often said that choice is good, but I'm not so sure in this case. The Linux based OS actively encourages the kids to learn programming and to use their computer for social purposes. The Windows based OS may well encourage them to waste time searching for pirate software and learning how to apply cracks instead.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Disappointing
by dimitar on Thu 10th Jan 2008 09:13 UTC in reply to "Disappointing"
dimitar Member since:
2007-10-19

I agree completely - children from 3rd world countries will never afford the expensive licences that they are offered - so.. they will pirate, as people do everywhere except the US, Western Europe (not the EU - the western part of the EU, and piracy is still there, just not on the same scale as in Eastern Europe) and maybe Japan and Korea. In every other country piracy is rampant - in fact if you are a home user or you work in small to medium bussiness its 99% certain that you use pirated software, and in some countries the government uses also. Guess what happens if Microsoft succeeds in enforsing its patents and licences - it will lose its market dominance - because what is really important is mind-share, and that is the reason linux isn't catching on where its expected - it competes with the non-open-source but still free windows, not the expensive windows you get in the developed countries.

So the goal of the XO laptop is to teach computers - about their possibilities, their charm, their basic concepts, not how to get warez, operate a firewall, or use an office suite. The latter skills are aging very quickly actually - in my I've seen high school textbooks that teach WindowsME and 2000 and whatever office suite and photoshop that was available on that time, despite our government having bought newer XP licenses - those particular textbooks were worthless because they taught things like which menu->submenu->option to click or right click.

I think the XO encourages intelligence and creativity and teaches you not how to cram specific windows concepts, but to enjoy and discover, and to expect a better interface and understand that being computer literate doesn't mean how to pirate an antivirus.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Disappointing
by lemur2 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So the goal of the XO laptop is to teach computers - about their possibilities, their charm, their basic concepts, not how to get warez, operate a firewall, or use an office suite.


Not only "teach computers", but rather "teach a lot of things".

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activities

Look, an oscilloscope:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Measure

a studio:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Record

a surveyors tool:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Acoustic_Tape_Measure

programming:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Pippy

democracy:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Poll_Builder

music:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/TamTam

art:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Drawing_Activity

journalism/documentary:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Our_Stories

... and so on.

It is a project, after all, about education and young children.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Disappointing
by wirespot on Thu 10th Jan 2008 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

in fact if you are a home user or you work in small to medium bussiness its 99% certain that you use pirated software, and in some countries the government uses also.


Hell, if 99% of people do something, perhaps that thing shouldn't be illegal anymore, it should be the state of fact, no?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Disappointing
by dimitar on Thu 10th Jan 2008 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Disappointing"
dimitar Member since:
2007-10-19

Yeah, sure, thats why pirate parties like that in Sweden are appearing, and when the police shut down the Arena torrent tracker in Bulgaria they were met with street protests, so we can expect changes in the legal status quo, although countries face the preasure from foreign IP producers.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Disappointing
by h3rman on Thu 10th Jan 2008 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

they will pirate, as people do everywhere except the US, Western Europe (....) and maybe Japan and Korea.


Haha, (South) Korea and no piracy?
You buy a pc, you'll easily get a cracked Office for free just about anywhere. Even in supermarkets like E-mart.

Reply Score: 4

Huh
by Buck on Thu 10th Jan 2008 09:32 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd rather see OLPC going with Apple's offering rather than turning into a travesty that is right now.
They used to be so anti-corporate back in the day, and now - this. Either stick to your beliefs and go Linux-only (which is a good thing) or shut up and accept what Apple offered. After all, those laptops would be SO much more powerful in terms of both hardware and software.
But please, no Microsoft. Last thing we need is another generation of Windows users.

Reply Score: 5

Running Scared
by raver31 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 10:34 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

For years Linux fanboys have been saying that "This" is the year of the Linux desktop. It has been said for years .

Microsoft have not had to worry before about Linux getting a firm foothold in Joe Users mindset.

However, the OLPC project is the biggest threat that Microsoft has faced in its history. Period.

If the OLPC succeeds there will be millions of new Linux users all over the world. Not just new users, but new future developers.

Windows famboys on the other hand think that just because 80-90% of the worlds desktops run Windows at the moment, that it will remain like this.

These kids who will learn to use and program for Linux will at first do it for themselves then for friends, then they will try and make a commercial offering. Will it work on YOUR Vista install ? The kid wont care. There will be enough people with Linux to support him.

Windows fanboys cannot see this, (luckily for them), Microsoft can. Now if Microsoft succeeds in forcing OLPC to use Windows, then they will have crippled the whole project.

Reply Score: 5

Afica
by Gone fishing on Thu 10th Jan 2008 11:29 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

I wish I could be optimistic about OLPC, but at least here in Africa, to me it seems ridiculous. Commonly class sizes are 60 plus the teachers is paid US$ 350 per month or less, Id rather see the teacher paid US$ 750 and class sizes of 35 and libraries full of books, black boards, labs with glassware and an internet equipped IT lab in every secondary school.

As for Windows PCs with no support infrastructure, no cheap internet, and untrained teachers well that will just make the situation worse, diverting money from where it's needed and making the virus proble much worse. Although I suppose a few corrupt politicians will get something out of it, probably sell them to companies on the cheap.

Than again maybe this isn't for Africa

Reply Score: 6

How on this hardware?
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 10th Jan 2008 11:36 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

How in the heck can you dual boot two operating systems on a computer with 1 GB of storage? I can see it if it is Puppy Linux and DSL, but if either of the OSes is Windows, where do you put things like PROGRAMS???

Reply Score: 4

RE: How on this hardware?
by lemur2 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 12:13 UTC in reply to "How on this hardware?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

How in the heck can you dual boot two operating systems on a computer with 1 GB of storage? I can see it if it is Puppy Linux and DSL, but if either of the OSes is Windows, where do you put things like PROGRAMS???


Microsoft themselves agree with you:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1096

No Linux for YOU!

The XO isn't going to dual boot .. with 1 GB of storage, after Microsoft mandate the poor kids have to buy an extra 1GB, they can have Windows XP, Notepad, Calc and Paint. Maybe Wordpad would fit also.

What else would they need?

Certainly not Linux or any Educational programs.

[sarcasm]We can't possibly have any kids from poor nations learning how computers work, can we? What a disaster if they look at the source![/sarcasm]

Reply Score: 7

psychicist
Member since:
2007-01-27

It's because of this scenario to possibly unfold that I've always advocated using a non-x86 CPU so it wouldn't be that easy for Microsoft or Apple to poison the well with cut down versions of their operating systems.

Or it could be that this was OLPC's (or at least Negroponte's) plan all along. To bring Microsoft on board in an effort to outcompete other offerings such as the Classmate that include Windows as a competitive differential means.

At least I know I won't be buying one for any of my nephews and nieces if it comes with a dual boot installation. Where's that ARM, MIPS or PPC based OLPC again?

Reply Score: 4

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

What does Microsoft care about the Classmate? What do you think the Classmate will run? It's not like doing this will befriend Microsoft to the OLPC cause and refuse to license Windows to Intel for Classmate. They just want to be everywhere. Heh, and to think they used to say that FOSS is a cancer... the irony. At least FOSS doesn't get everywhere against your will.

Reply Score: 2

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

It's because of this scenario to possibly unfold that I've always advocated using a non-x86 CPU so it wouldn't be that easy for Microsoft or Apple to poison the well with cut down versions of their operating systems.


Believest thou truly that, if Microsoft wanted to, it couldn't port NT to any other architecture for the purpose of 'infecting' a market, if it thought it was necessary?
The XO won't have to run WoW, Active Directory, Photoshop, or other monsters of code whose proprietors wouldn't want to port them.

Reply Score: 2

psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

Believest thou truly that, if Microsoft wanted to, it couldn't port NT to any other architecture for the purpose of 'infecting' a market, if it thought it was necessary?


I haven't said anything that would amount to that. Windows NT has a natural advantage and habitat on x86. The operating system itself could very easily be ported to any architecture, since that was one of the design goals for NT.

What's a lot more difficult is getting all the closed drivers and software that's available on x86 to run on another one with good performance. That's a lot harder to do and will make porting NT a not very fruitful endeavour.

Microsoft doesn't even have fully functional versions of Windows XP or Vista for Itanium and x86_64, their other main architectures. How will they ever create fully functional versions for other architectures then? Their only resort would be FOSS software for Windows and that kind of defeats their purpose for porting it in the first place.

But when you're running a Windows operating system with many FOSS applications, you might as well run FOSS operating systems with many of the same apps, so again a losing proposition for Microsoft.

That is, unless they start buying many companies' source codes and recompile them for the architectures they're porting to. However, Microsoft can't buy all companies they want, so they'd have to makes choices like Apple has done over the years (Shake, Logic, Final Cut Pro).

The XO won't have to run WoW, Active Directory, Photoshop, or other monsters of code whose proprietors wouldn't want to port them.


What makes Windows "interesting" are those third party applications. Without them Windows is an empty shell that doesn't do much. The children would have to get used to things like Notepad and Solitaire, not much to learn for them that way.

Edited 2008-01-10 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Apparently, from someone at Microsoft
by lemur2 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 13:08 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://blogs.technet.com/jamesu/archive/2007/12/05/olpc-in-the-news...

... no mention at all of dual boot.

In fact, reading between the lines, given that they already apparently need most of the available storage (plus an extra 1GB) to just run the Windows OS, it would seem that ... Microsoft's primary aim here is to get Linux off of the XO.

Even if this "Windows for XO" vapourware never actually eventuates, it would have achieved a secondary aim for Microsoft anyway ... same aim as all vapourware announcements are intended to achieve.

Reply Score: 5

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

I'm also starting to belive it's being done mostly for bragging rights. Having to add a 2nd GB just to run barebones Windows is simply an exercise in futility. What's the point? Other than brownie points for Microsoft for infecting yet another platform (as if they need any more). I just hope the OLPC project gets something, anything, out of this.

Reply Score: 2

Everything gets corrupted
by yakirz on Thu 10th Jan 2008 22:17 UTC
yakirz
Member since:
2006-05-11

eventually. Now it's OLPC ;)

G-d forbid we have a computer without Windows! How would these poor children run any software without the Start button? Microsoft HAD to get involved, it's for the kids...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Everything gets corrupted
by raver31 on Fri 11th Jan 2008 09:22 UTC in reply to "Everything gets corrupted"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

In his own way, Bill Gates thinks it is actually for the kids.
Don't take anything away from the guy as he set up that foundation with his wife. A lot of anti-Microsoft people come on places like this and say he does this for brownie points, or as tax relief. No, the guy is thinking he is doing right by the people in the world by helping them in some way.

He has put up the money for vaccines for various diseases and started anti-HIV programmes in various countries.

He did not stipulate that there was loads of reporters there to show this through the media, he did not tell the government he would help them, but only if the government banned Linux and only used Windows.

No, this guy genuinely tries to make a difference.

He thinks therefore, that his system (Windows), is much better than anything else out there, so to provide Windows on the OLPC, he thinks he is being beneficial to the kids. That has been his only mistake.

What he should do, is leave the OLPC project with the OS that works on it at the minute, but make sure that HIS products can interoperate with the software that the kids will be using, and also that the programs that the kids create, will work with his.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Everything gets corrupted
by yakirz on Fri 11th Jan 2008 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Everything gets corrupted"
yakirz Member since:
2006-05-11

I don't doubt Gates' dedication to helping people. I think there are some good aspects to him personally. I just don't care for Microsoft or the way he ran it, and I truly despise Windows.

Therefore, like you said, he wants to help the kids, but Windows on the OLPC isn't helping anyone except MS's exposure to more and more soon-to-be-duped computer users.

Edited 2008-01-11 14:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1