is anyone actually doing Windows on XO work here?
bastienguerry at googlemail.com
Tue Jul 21 05:16:41 EDT 2009
CC'ing SJ this time...
Bastien <bastienguerry at googlemail.com> writes:
> Thanks *very much* for these explanations.
> I hope this kind of information can find its way through the OLPC blog,
> maybe with a little more context. Then we can fight the FUD by linking
> to these explanations.
> Coyping sj, as I think he's responsible for OLPC's blog, but I might be
> wrong about this.
> Mitch Bradley <wmb at laptop.org> writes:
>>> Now AFAIK, there's little to no Windows work being done in-house by
>>> the OLPC team, and it's all or mostly at Microsoft's side that the
>>> work's being done.
>> At the moment, OLPC is doing approximately zero work on Windows. That
>> wasn't true last year. I spent several months last year making it
>> possible to boot Windows from Open Firmware. The reason I did that was
>> to prevent Microsoft from "taking over" the XO machine. Their plan was
>> to purchase machines and instruct the factory to reflash their SPI FLASH
>> boot ROM with a conventional BIOS - which would have prevented OLPC's
>> Linux from working. It would have been possible to boot a different
>> Linux distro from that BIOS, but it would not have been bootable from
>> NAND FLASH, the OLPC security would not have been available, OLPC's
>> special power management would not have worked, and the OFW-resident
>> management features like diagnostics and NAND update would have been
>> lost. Essentially it would have been a one-way ticket to Microsoft land.
>> That one-way road was unacceptable to Nicholas. He insisted that, if
>> any machines were to be able to run Windows, they must be able to dual-boot.
>> Microsoft already had the one-way solution working, with only the barest
>> amount of involvement from the OLPC team - essentially, I answered a few
>> questions that Microsoft's rep posed to me. The time I spent doing that
>> was comparable to the time I spent answering similar questions from
>> people porting other operating systems, such as Minix, Plan 9, and ReactOS.
>> The big chunks of time that I spent on Microsoft-related stuff were not
>> to make Windows run on the XO - that was already a done deal. I spent
>> the time to enable OFW to dual-boot Windows and Linux, thus preventing
>> "Windows only" XOs.
>> That work paid off in another way for XO-1.5. The ACPI infrastructure
>> necessary to run Windows on XO-1 let us to use a more "standard" Linux
>> kernel for XO-1.5. That's good in that it helps our chances of meeting
>> our tight schedule with our modest system software resources, and
>> reduces the amount of upstream merging that we must do. It's bad from
>> the standpoint that XO-1.5 is looking more and more like a conventional
>> PC, thus bringing it dangerously close to the "black hole" of the PC
>> industry that sucks everything into the commodity ecosystem in which
>> Intel has near-total control over the evolution of the system architecture.
>> It's possible - even likely - that I will have to spend some time in the
>> next few months to make Windows boot on XO-1.5. I expect that will go
>> quite quickly compared to the last effort, as the XO-1 work should carry
>> Devel mailing list
>> Devel at lists.laptop.org
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