updated 08:30 am EST, Thu December 6, 2007
OLPC Windows XP in 2008
Microsoft's Unlimited Potential group will test the One Laptop Per Child project's XO system with Windows XP, the company has announced. As part of a program to establish the guidelines for using the OS with budget notebooks with flash storage, including Intel's Classmate and the ASUS Eee PC, the software developer says it will run a field trial to see whether it can provide a "high-quality" implementation of Windows on the system, which runs an ultra low-power AMD Geode processor and typically runs a version of Linux to reduce costs and performance overhead.
The Windows developer has not said how likely it is to make Windows XP an option for the system, but notes that a successful trial could result in shipping Windows versions of the XO by the second half of 2008; the price is also uncertain but is likely to boost the cost of the system beyond the near-$200 mark set by the Linux original.
The OLPC group's chief Nicholas Negroponte hinted earlier this year that Windows would be an option but was overshadowed by his team's software president Walter Bender, who warned the media that there was no agreement in place and that the XO might "never" use Windows.