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Eight-year-old picks Linux XO laptop over Windows

updated 04:05 pm EDT, Fri October 24, 2008

Kid picks Linux XO laptop

A recently performed informal experiment saw an eight-year-old American student pick the Linux version of the XO laptop over the Windows XP version. The eight-year-old, representative of the target audience for the educational notebook, spent an afternoon exploring each notebook, finally picking the Linux version mostly because it had more software that was not yet explored. Each iteration had its pros and cons, however, including the Linux version's slower web browsing and more complicated user interface, at least to those used a Windows interface.

The Microsoft XP version, on the other hand, while retaining some of the features found on the original Linux model, including the scratch pad, game controller and built-in camera, is missing the majority of the kid-oriented Sugar OS shell and associated educational games, programming tools and other software. Microsoft does offer the benefit of offering its Office suite of products, as well as other educational programs written for the OS, though those may appeal to older kids.

Still, the author concludes either XO notebook could be a great educational aid if used properly in the schoolroom. There are arguments in the industry and from the governments in developing countries where most of the XO laptops are used or heading for and against the use of either operating system, and the split is likely why a dual-boot version of the XO laptop is being developed. [via CNET]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ubuntu on the XO

    I have already created a dual boot XO with SugarOS and Xubuntu. No need for Windows XP, and Xubuntu comes with OpenOffice, Firefox, and many other applications.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    computers in school bad

    I grew up without computers, they were not part of our curriculum. We did have Oregon Trail on some apple II's and later on a program to teach typing. And we played with LOGO. That was the extent of computers in my education - period. All of my computer learning was done on my own, my own exploration.

    The ironic thing is, I am now in college - at 26 (worked to save up first, and ended up in art school). But compared to the students who were taught computers, and grew up using them - I am far more computer literate. I am also far more capable at spelling, grammar, math, etc. I never had the computer crutch, and actually learned. It's been a great benefit to me.

  1. Leighgion

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Crutch, Not Vital Tool

    The whole emphasis on computers for children is a bit much. If anything, early computer use appears to have degraded the average spelling, grammar and general typing skills.

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