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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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