[OLPC-SF] Microsoft Is Joining Low-Cost Laptop Project - New York Times

Mike Travers mt at alum.mit.edu
Sun May 18 14:59:30 EDT 2008

On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 11:11 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>   as to the bulk of your point, very nicely said.
> On Sun, 2008-05-18 at 00:15 -0700, Mike Travers wrote:
>> But
>> the choice of operating system seems like a relatively minor element
>> of the medium/message/massage, compared to the fact of connectedness
>> and interactivity.
>   As to the above, i think the OS technology is
> not a minor consideration....
>   Does anyone think that a closed platform
> would be better in the above educational regards?
> If so, how?
>   It seems to me that the underlying technologies
> of the OS are an important consideration (again,
> a la "the medium is the massage").

Just for the record:

- I agree that an open source model is superior for all the reasons
you gave.  I'm not an open source fundamentalist, but it seems like a
natural match for the OLPC goals.

- That being said, openness can happen at various levels, and just
because one level is not FOSS doesn't mean that we've closed off all
openness and creativity. For example, let's say children around the
world are collaborating on creating a wiki about their farm animals
(ie).  The content will be open, and probably the wiki server software
will be open. If the children are using Firefox on Linux or IE on
Windows to access the wiki, well, that doesn't really matter so much.

FOSS and openness is a powerful force that has triumphed in many
software niches. It will probably triumph here. The Windows fracas
seems like a minor speedbump on the road to victory, I would hope it
doesn't distract people from the important things.

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