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OLPC to mimic Apple's Boot Camp

updated 01:55 pm EST, Wed January 9, 2008

OLPC Dual-Boot

The One Laptop Per Child project is developing an update to its XO notebook that will let users run two operating systems on one of the computers, group chair Nicholas Negroponte says in an interview. Though multi-boot setups are not unique to the Mac, the OLPC head says the portable for developing-world schools will soon have a multi-OS system "like on an Apple" that lets users quickly flip between the OLPC's custom Sugar Linux-based interface and Windows XP. Although concerns have been raised about the Microsoft software's performance on the $200 system, the OLPC group notes that the XO's version is not the same as on most computers.

"The version that's up and running of Windows on the XO is very fast, it's very, very successful," Negroponte says. "We're working very hard to do both [well]."

The development represents the first fruit of a deal struck in December that would have Microsoft experiment with Windows to ensure it runs well on the low-power system. The move has been largely regarded as unconventional for Microsoft, which has historically opposed open-source projects such as Linux. Microsoft's project is the result of a relatively softened approach, according to Negroponte.

"[Microsoft]'s become a little bit less religious than it was a few years ago and that's really good," he says.

No pricing has been discussed for any versions that might come with dual-boot pre-installed, though the XO may be integrated into some of Microsoft's existing programs to help develop a foundation for computing in developing regions.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    what has it come to where people are acting like dual-booting is a mac thing?

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    simply makes sense

    Because the Apple way makes sense: hold the option key upon boot to select boot disk (which is named by the user and easy to differentiate).

    No need to go into BIOS which has no mouse support, and find and change the boot drive to the particular device (which one was it? D or E drive?), then repeat to switch back to the original device.

    It's the time when people realize the 10 step way (MS's way) is the wrong way.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dual booting is not an

    Apple invention, but they did make it elegant and seamless. And that is definitely the Apple way.

  1. wardc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This situation is a perfect one for Apple to jump in with a subnotebook OS based on OS X (much like the iPhone or iPod touch interface)...which runs on a 400MHz processor in those devices. Apple still needs to build their marketshare with personal computers worldwide, and getting young people on their platform at that age is the best way to retain customers for life. Usually (as I have seen it), people are exposed to a platform (Mac or PC) when they are a kid, and they are more likely to stay close to the platform they are comfortable with. Likewise for Microsoft, this is an easy win for them if they decide to ship XP on this device, they will expose a whole generation of 3rd world kids to the Windows platform. I think the XO project is a vital platform for software companies to jump into quickly, the long term payoffs could be tremendous.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: simply makes sense

    Sorry, but I've never gone into a bios to switch a boot drive around (and since the bios isn't a Microsoft invention or product, I'm not sure how you can call it the "MS Way"). Not on PCs. Not on my old 7100 which I dual booted Linux on.

    Hit the F8 key on a Windows box, that usually does it.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dual bootings

    dual booting has nothing to do with Apple.

    Dual booting into WINDOWS has everything to do with Apple.

    Windows machines already run Windows. Linux desktop users are too few.

    Apple is the main platform, that needs to dual boot into far.

    Of course, its an apple thing.

    You have to think like an end user.

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