Introduction – OLPC aims to create a USD100 rugged laptop for use in developing nations. To get a laptop that cheap it has to take advantage of free and open source software.

OLPC have Microsoft developing a very cut back XP operating system that will function at very low power usage levels.

Some within the open source community are enraged that OLPC has gone over to the dark side and are talking with MS.

Nicholas Negroponte – visionary, academic, commentator and more in his “tell it like it is” style, said the following;

“It would be hard for OLPC to say it was ‘open’ and then be closed to Microsoft. Open means open”

I’m with Nicholas on this one – open source is great, but open source to the exclusion of the “traditional” vendors is bad

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • The important aim is to get below the pricing targets rather than what type of s/w is used.

    I suspect MS needs to find new ways (& configurations / pricepoints) to get operating systems into non- traditional markets and this provides a high profile test case – not to mention it should be good pr for them as well.

  • Ben

    Just so you know, there is an article in the press over here in London today saying that :

    – The price of these laptops is now double the initial estimate
    – The only firm order they have is for 100,000 units from Uruguay
    – They are running way behind schedule

    I am with Negroponte on this one too – and who cares anyway, they are essentially a charity and whatever works best for that, I am behind it….


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