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Microsoft Corp has made progress in getting its Windows software to work on a low-cost laptop computer for poor children that currently runs on rival Linux software, an executive said on Thursday.
The world's largest software company is now working to adapt a basic version of Windows XP so it is compatible with the nonprofit One Laptop per Child Foundation's small green-and-white XO laptop.
Microsoft Making Progress Getting Windows on XO [uk.reuters.com]
A friend of mine finally got disgusted with his old, slow computer running Windows 2000. He got a brand-new one, which came with Vista installed.
It's even slower booting up than his old one.
OK, so this is going to be XP, but still, I don't see it.
I can't quite put my finger on it, but somehow I find the idea of putting a commercial, closed-source OS on the OLPC offensive.
The OLPC, for all it's flaws and criticisms, is enabling technology. Many of the owners will be in desperate situations, where, frankly, copyrights and patents have no place - at least in the moral sense. These are concepts that just have no meaning in these places.
For example, I support the decision by some countries, that have invalided AIDS-drug patents on humanitarian grounds.
Of course, it's not a great metaphor. AIDS is much more serious than lack of access to computers.
It is true that Microsoft has some programs to make Windows available in third-world countries at low/no cost. That's practical for Microsoft, given that their products are widely-pirated in the third world anyway.
But why try to interfere with an initiative to give people a tool that is both extendable and modifiable by anybody (given the necessary skills) while at the same time being legal to do so?