One Laptop Per Child Embraces Windows XP

Move gives new life to seemingly immortal operating system
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 17, 2008 11:15 AM CDT
This image provided by the One Laptop per Child Foundation shows its XO laptop, a small computer designed for children in developing nations.    (AP Photo/One Laptop Per Child)
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(Newser) – Now that Microsoft has signed on to the One Laptop Per Child initiative—aimed at getting low-cost PCs to kids in poor countries—its Windows XP operating system is again getting a new jolt of life, reports The project originally used only free, open-source software such as Linux, but sales were slow because of little enthusiasm from government clients over the system, the New York Times notes.

“We aim to make technology more relevant, accessible and affordable for students everywhere,” said a rep from Microsoft, which is phasing out 7-year-old XP for Vista in mainstream sales. But the move has infuriated some observers opposed to the idea that a project founded on free software and widespread accessibility would use proprietary software. Further, some worry the move will open the computers to viruses. “What are you doing to those children?” asked a tech blogger.