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Microsoft, OLPC and Peru will use the South American nation as a testing ground for the Windows-powered OLPC

Microsoft and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization announced Peru will be the first nation to receive low-cost XO laptops with Microsoft Windows instead of Linux.  Peru's Ministry of Education will receive the laptops, and then will distribute them to school age children throughout the nation.

"The specific scale and locations of the pilot, which will take place over the next nine months, are still being determined according to the specific needs of the government and rural schools in Peru," a Microsoft spokesperson told DailyTech in a statement.

In May, Microsoft announced it was working to help port its Windows XP operating system to the popular OLPC devices.  A partnership announcement between Microsoft and OLPC came later in the month, when it became official Windows-based OLPCs would be available.

Linux was the main operating system used on the OLPC, but a number of nations came forward and said they were only interested in the popular device if it had Windows.  Microsoft also has been using Windows on the Intel Classmate PC, which also has had success in South America, including Brazil.  Several countries, including Egypt, said it wanted students to have experience with Windows because it remains the most dominant OS used throughout the world.

The popular green laptop will be used in schools throughout Peru to help students learn about technology and will include the Microsoft Student Innovation Suite, a software package that includes Microsoft Office 2003 and the Learning Essentials 1.0.  

The future of Linux on the OLPC XO is still unknown, but there is some speculation that Linux could be dropped if demand for Windows-based machines is high enough.  Microsoft and OLPC will launch short-term pilot programs with Windows-based XOs in the future.

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RE: Why?
By murphyslabrat on 9/17/2008 1:14:07 PM , Rating: 4
OLPC (to me), despite the display innovations, is really a waste of time in the overall scheme of things (for such developing nations).

Educating their minds would be better.

I am taking a Swimming class at my college, as I sink faster than a rock. There is a girl in the class who is so frightened in the water, that she is practically unable to learn; she won't try the strokes that are being taught, unless the teacher is right beside her, and she is really uncomfortable with most of the breathing exercises.

She is a well educated girl, and is in her junior year. I don't know her very well, but she has no trouble academically. There is no psychological issue, there aren't panic attacks, there is nothing to point to as an excuse. The only issue is that she hasn't ever been swimming.

Most of these kids have never seen a computer, and it won't matter how much education you give them. If they have no clue, they're going to treat computers like this girl is treating the water.

RE: Why?
By Belard on 9/17/2008 2:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
With M$ involved - the OLPC is about opening markets... with Linux, its about getting the job done. With MS, the OLPC battery power and performance will suffer. Of course it'll be using a very LITE version of Windows Basic. But a modern basic Linux box is more than enough for a child.

That "educated girl" is a yound adult, her mind is developed and has a phobia of water.

Children can pick up things a lot faster than you think. I tell people about my 3year old who can connect all the cables to his desktop computer all by himself and get onto the internet. Without me in the room.

So yeah, some kid about 5 years old can learn quite a bit with an OLPC. Hey, a lot of us started with far less weaker computers.

RE: Why?
By leexgx on 9/17/2008 7:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
windows vista basic or the cut down XP for students ver

vista cant run on these devices with out makeing them cost alot more

RE: Why?
By murphyslabrat on 9/18/2008 2:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
So yeah, some kid about 5 years old can learn quite a bit with an OLPC. Hey, a lot of us started with far less weaker computers.

That's my point, they need to get started as kids. Education can only take you so far, but real experience is a horse that can run.

I brought up that example to demonstrate what happens when you have no experience with something....admittedly, it was poorly worded.

RE: Why?
By BruceLeet on 9/17/2008 3:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
What a horrible example, mate.

RE: Why?
By foolsgambit11 on 9/17/2008 3:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
But your analogy fails in this instance, since children who learn to use a computer with Linux would most likely be more comfortable getting accustomed to a computer with Windows on it.

The problem is not that Microsoft is making money. The issue people have, it would seem to me, is that they are making money based not on the fact that they have a superior product, but that they have the product with the most market share. It's nothing intrinsic about Windows that has made these governments demand Windows on the OLPC; it's the fact that Windows XP is currently used everywhere already.

Ironically, since the layout of Windows Vista (and assumedly, Windows 7) is different than XP, learning XP doesn't actually directly prepare a 7 year old for a job when he's 17 (that will almost certainly use a different OS) any more than a Linux distro or OS X would.

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