Monday, January 28, 2008

OLPC Project Going Microsoft Way

The new year started with a bad news. Microsoft has got its way as far as OLPC is concerned. They have decided to go on a dual boot system with linux as one of the options. For those who do not know about OLPC, Its a project started to provide a low cost laptops to poor children. The laptop should cost around Rs.15000. It is supposed to have a turbo charger which can be attached to a bicycle and charged. The laptop is expected to have linux as primary OS.

Along came Microsoft to poke its nose. They wanted win xp to run on OLPC. They were generous enough to port the OS themselves and avoid troubles for the OLPC team. If we analyze the need for Microsoft to interfere with the OLPC is simply to avoid third world children from using linux. Microsoft is jealous and simply can't stand the next generation learning something new that might be against Microsoft. The reason given by Microsoft for the move is to benefit "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation". Iam not going to buy this reason. What is even sadder is the fact that their are many people supporting this move. People blindly believe that Microsoft products are easy to use and faster. Unfortunately its far from the truth. Most of windows user by now realize that they cannot run the OS without an anti-virus software. And its a know fact that most Antivirus software takes up a lot of system resources. How can winxp work well on a low performing hardware such as OLPC with antivirus? So, the bottom line is that even though the winxp might work well on OLPC the additional software load to keep the OS safe is going to pull down the performance. You would'nt want children to be spending most of their time removing virus and formating systems. The alternate OS, linux, comes really handy here. Its free , easily customizable and light weight. So lets hope the Big Microsoft Bully stops this madness and do something constructive by letting OLPC go the original way.

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