Microsoft and One Laptop per Child Partner to Deliver Affordable Computing to Students Worldwide
Posted on 16-May-2008 14:07
Filed under: News
Microsoft Corp. and One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced an agreement that will make the Microsoft Windows operating system available on OLPC’s low-cost XO laptops for the world’s poorest children.
Through this agreement, trials of the XO running Windows are planned to begin as soon as June in key emerging markets.
Recognizing that the challenge of providing high-quality education for children in the developing world is too large to be solved by any single organization, Microsoft and OLPC are committed to working with governments and nongovernmental organizations to ensure the success of these pilot programs.
One Laptop per Child is a non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education.
These XO laptops are rugged and so energy efficient that they can be powered by a child manually. The pricing goal is US$100.
Microsoft says the availability of Windows, in addition to Linux, on the XO laptop will allow customers to have an expanded choice of operating environments. The intention is to create a version of the XO laptop that provides the ability to host both Windows and Linux operating systems, giving users the ability to run either on the XO laptop.
“From the beginning, the goal of OLPC has been to use technology to transform education by bringing connectivity and constructionist learning to the poorest children throughout the world,” said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of OLPC. “Today’s announcement, coupled with future plans for a dual boot version of the XO laptop, enhances our ability to deliver on this vision. In addition, OLPC will work with third parties to port its user interface, called ‘Sugar,’ to Windows.”
Microsoft has spent more than a year working with a variety of partners to develop customized drivers that enable Windows to run on the XO laptop. Windows now supports the laptop’s e-book reading mode, standard Wi-Fi networking, camera, writing pad and custom keys, as well as the power-saving and other features of the XO hardware.
The adaptation of standard Windows for the XO laptop means that hundreds of thousands of third-party applications and devices available for Windows will now be compatible with the XO laptop.