John Gilmore gnu at
Mon May 19 04:20:41 EDT 2008

> So... all the new 200,000 XOs that will come to Peru will come with this
> new V2 Bios.  and the first 45,000 will be updated?  Or we have to
> deal with a mixed enviroment? (no problem... just asking...)

Since the V2 firmware is only recently demo-able, not yet product
quality, it's too early to tell when it will roll into the Quanta
production line.

Here's what I expect (which may be total fantasy).  When each child's
XO gets a new software update (probably the scheduled August update,
suitably augmented by the in-country team), then along with the OS and
Activities, they'll also get the latest OpenFirmware update.  That
firmware will include the capability to boot Windows, and have various
other improvements.

"The capability to boot Windows" does not include a copy of Windows
itself.  To find out about how and when that will be available, you'd
have to talk to Microsoft.  I hear each copy is $3 in some countries,
and requires an SD card for more storage, that'll cost a few dollars
also.  So if Peru wanted it on every laptop, figure it'll cost US$1.4
million or so (200K x ($3 + $4)).

Most of that cost is unavoidable hardware cost, unless MS slims down
Windows to not need >1GB.  It'd cost US$800K even if MS let everyone
in the country "pirate" the OS.  Doing so might well suit their
purposes even better than charging $3 per copy, since they wouldn't be
expected to provide any support for a stolen product, yet they would
still be weaning kids away from Linux.

	John Gilmore (not an OLPC employee!)

More information about the Devel mailing list