[support-gang] [sugar] Microsoft

Seth Woodworth seth at isforinsects.com
Thu May 15 21:34:13 EDT 2008

> ...and to which the free software (linux) community would respond with a
> reverse engineering effort, at it's own (collective) expense, and rather
> quickly have a solution.  If turnabout is fair play, let Microsoft adopt the
> free software community response as well.

The golden rule doesn't say: "Treat others as you have been treated,"  It
says to treat others as you would like to be treated.

So as a fair practice I think it's clear that no special actions can
>> ethically be made to prevent Windows or any other OS from running on the
>> machine.  So a Windows port for the XO isn't something that could have been
>> preventative.
> Agree. But that's not what is being proposed. The agreement clearly
> includes a modification of the original principles (minimum cost for the
> devices) to provide a Microsoft handicap in this game. I would not call that
> "fair practice."

What is being proposed is that if you want it to run Microsoft apps then
countries can pay an extra $10.  This gives *them* a handycap in the game
and makes it that much easier for us.

>> Furthermore OLPC's sale of the XO hardware doesn't come with any
>> restrictions for use.  To not allow countries to install windows once they
>> take ownership would be a completely unethical move given OLPC's commitments
>> to freedom.
> OLPC has NEVER made any mention of preventing anyone (with a developer key)
> from installing whatever software they wanted to install on the XO, (which
> cannot be said of all computer system manufacturers
> cough*cough*XBOX*cough*cough) That's not what's being discussed here.
> Negroponte is taking proactive action to create a more favorable environment
> for Microsoft. Is OLPC making the same offer to Ubuntu?  Debian?  What about
> Red Hat?

I agree.  Let's start a dialog with Ubuntu!  Mark Shuttleworth has mentioned
OLPC favorably on this blog a few times, and much of the community has been
interested in getting Ubuntu running on the XO.  There is a need for a full
desktop as well as a sugar UI for these machines.  I run Debian on my XO
personally and I would love to have a fast Xubuntu going on it.

> Not at all. The problem appears to be that Microsoft is asking/demanding
> that the OLPC principles be modified in deference to Microsoft.

I don't agree with that statement.  If the extra $10 is optional if
countries insist on Microsoft anyway.  If that's not the case (which of
course isn't clear with the meager amount of information we're given) then
you are right.

> I was under the impression the hardware manufacturers weren't loosing
> anything on the per-unit sales.

I may very well be wrong.

But I do know that Quanta isn't going to let OLPC open source the hardware
schematics that they own until sale volumes are much higher.

Will this still give us the chance to put great hardware and content into
>> the hands of children all over the world?  Yes.
> Nope. It's over.

I'm sorry you feel that way.  I'm not going to argue if that's the way you
feel.  I hope that you get involved in Sugarlabs, which is all safely GPL'd
or maybe work with me on Open / Creative Commons content.  There is a lot of
work that can be done that can still help and not help OLPC+Microsoft.

> I think you are under the impression that the 'education project' has been
> somehow hindered by efforts aimed at *preventing* Microsoft from
> contributing. I do not see that as the case. Speaking as one of those 'free
> software fundamentalists", I can say I long ago wrote-off Microsoft and
> pretty much ignore what they choose to do. (They know it, and that
> dismissiveness is one of the things that keeps Microsoft up at night.)

I don't understand how that follows?

> With Walter Bender on his own and dedicated to bringing Sugar to every
>> machine on a FOSS stack, and all OLPC produced software being safely GPL'ed,
>> I feel confident that Sugar can beat out Windows.
> Of course. Sugar is not dead, just OLPC.  That's why the fork occurred.

Sugarlabs isn't a fork.  The code bases are still the same and aren't going
to change.  It's more like upstream sources now.  Or a forking of
management, not code.

> Let's focus on getting sugar and linux and what we *can* do instead of
>> being angry.  I plan on staying and producing content, translations and
>> improvements for OLPC and for children.
>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org
>> Seth Woodworth
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