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Free Mac OS X for MIT laptop program declined

updated 09:35 am EST, Mon November 14, 2005

Apple offered OS X to MIT

Apple for MIT's proposed $100 laptop initiative, however, the proposal offered by Apple's CEO Steve Jobs was declined because the program was looking for open-source software, according to a new report. The plan to develop a $100 laptop computer for distribution to millions of school-children in developing countries has caught the interest of governments and the attention of computer-industry heavyweights, as it could represent access to a large untapped market, according to The Wall Street Journal. Companies such as Microsoft are evaluating participation options, however, the first production version of the laptop will be powered by AMD processors and will use the open-source Red Hat Linux operating system.

by MacNN Staff




  1. drg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The geek kiss of death

    A laptop for $100 but you have to spend at least 100 hours learning how to run the operating system. They have just guaranteed that this project will fail.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pretty stupid

    I find it absolutely stupid to decline Mac OS X in favor of a complete open source system that is 10x harder to maintain ESP when the best Unix based OS in the world is being offered for FREE!! These MIT guys get a brilliant idea to offer a $100 machine, and then do the DUMBEST thing and power it with the shittiest choice of OS. WTF can you do with Red Hat? and if its SO Good, why isn't it more popular??

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smart vs Intelligent

    Just because someone has a piece of paper on the wall that says they are smart, it doesn't mean they are intelligent. The least intelligent people I've ever met are products of a very expensive college education. Here is yet another perfect example of the difference between smart and intelligent people.

    I rest my case your honour.

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its not stupid...

    They just don't want to be tied to a closed source operating system from a company that could one day turn around and charge $$$. We don't want a repeat of Microsoft.

  1. frankiec

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "They just don't want to be tied to a closed source operating system from a company that could one day turn around and charge $$$. We don't want a repeat of Microsoft."

    Are you stupid or are you just a political open source w****? A $100 laptop can't last very long. You're not going to get "tied" to one software vendor with a $100 laptop!

    The MIT people didn't base their decision on what was the best choice for the students, they based their decision on one issue only: politics.

  1. Salmon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Idealism at its worst

    This program's directors are clearly falling all over themselves to be ideologically correct, even at the expense of efficiency and/or reason. If Apple offers you a fully-developed operating system, with robust language support, then by all means, MIT should have jumped on it. In response to bleee's suggestion that they don't want to be tied in, there are contracts that can terminate that possibility, though certainly, in the long run, being locked in is something they should consider. In the short term, however, they need kids with no computer literacy to be able to use these things, and even if MIT only got three or four generations of this computer out the door with a robust operating system onboard, they would have done the world a big favor. Instead, a bunch of idealist technophiles have obviously sat down and decided "No software giants!" without any real practical consideration beyond their personal distaste for the capitalist practices of big technology companies.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Red Hat isn't free either. I don't understand why they want to go with the Microsoft of Linux when they were offered a multi-language, major software (which is what the working world will look at first) compatible, reliable and stable operating system that's FREE OF CHARGE and would allow Apple to sport OS X on an Intelish (AMD) chipset?

  1. tomodachi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Software Giant

    Red Hat is a giant, too. I don't think it was about the profitability of the company and/or the capitalism c***, but more on the OS itself. That is, they'd rather SPEND MONEY buying an Open Source OS, rather than get a closed-source OS for FREE.

    I agree it was a stupid move, though.

  1. Horsepoo!!!

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hand-cranked + OSS OS =


    This 100ish dollar computer won't last more than 6 months. Nobody's gonna know how to use it, everyone's gonna be cranking the computer so that it doesn't die on them.

    I can't believe this thing is even in the news.

  1. normyzo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wouldn't be fast

    How fast would Mac OS X _really_ run on a 333Mhz laptop that has an integrated graphics chip with NO 3D acceleration? And since the thing only has 128MB of RAM, how well does OS X run in that? And since its got 1GB flash instead of a hard disk, you're certainly not going to be using HFS+ since you need a flash-aware file system to do proper wear leveling so the flash doesn't die after 6 months.

    Really, its not a good fit for this laptop project, given the specs. Its like trying OS X on a 300Mhz G3 with 128MB of RAM and an ATI RageII without the 3D.

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