[OLPC-SF] Microsoft Is Joining Low-Cost Laptop Project - New York Times
olpc at futures.com
Wed May 21 22:12:40 EDT 2008
My concerns about Windows XP on the XO are that it defeats a lot of the
advanages that the XO provides:
- XOs with XP are likely to be stolen
- There is no BitFrost
- XOs with XP will be *much* harder to maintain in the field than
- XP plus anti* software is going to run slow. And it will need anti*
- No Mesh networking
- No builtin collaboration between XOs.
US Schools are dropping their Windows laptop programs now because it
costs too much to keep the laptops running:
How can we expect that Windows XP is going to be maintainable in the
locations that XOs are distributed?
If the Windows systems remain dual-boot, receiving communities may
discover that Fedora+Sugar are easier to maintain than Windows. But if
Windows becomes the sole OS for XOs, I can see a nightmare of support
issues and a complete meltdown of the project.
Sameer Verma wrote:
> Mike Travers wrote:
>> 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:
>>>> 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.
> True, but the rub is with the reason behind going the Windows route.
> OLPC isn't going with Windows because of some technical merit.
> Supposedly, Egypt asked for it. Supposedly, it helps with local
> educational programs if your computer runs Windows. None of these
> warrant any technical merit on part of the OS. I remember Linus'
> interview from "Revolution OS" (http://www.revolution-os.com/) where he
> says that the OS is something you should never have to see. It works
> behind the scene. Microsoft has made sure that the backstage and onstage
> are all jumbled. Amorphous, to borrow a term from Nicholas' post ;-) So,
> you can't get the OS without the window manager! We are in a sense
> arguing about "apples + pie shell" vs. "apple pie" itself.
> So, to satisfy Egypt, OLPC will put XP on there. XP will most probably
> push Sugar out as something that's not needed. After all, in the
> Microsoft video, the MS product manager stated that XP can record sound,
> video, etc. and playback really well. Why do we need anything else? All
> that talk about constructivism, constructionism, will go down the drain.
> I hope it doesn't turn out to be so bleak, but if it does, then thank
> you Microsoft for renewing my dislike for your ways.
>> 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.
> Thank you for the optimism. We surely need it!
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