OLPC rules out Windows for XO-3

Windows Phone 7 won't do either, the CTO said

One Laptop Per Child won't use Microsoft's Windows OS on its upcoming XO-3 tablet, which will run Linux, OLPC's CTO said Thursday.

OLPC's chairman Nicholas Negroponte last year said that the organization was "urging" Microsoft to make a full version of Windows available for the earlier XO-2, which was also based on the Arm processor. The XO-2 was later canceled.

The XO-3 will also use an Arm processor, but OLPC is ruling out loading multiple versions of Windows on the tablet, said Ed McNierney, OLPC's CTO, by e-mail Thursday.

"We have no evidence that Microsoft will make full-featured Windows 7 available on Arm, and that's their decision," McNierney said.

Arm processors can run the Windows Mobile OS, but Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's upcoming mobile OS, was also rejected by McNierney.

"Our XO tablet will be a full-function computing device, not a smartphone or a PDA. Windows Mobile was designed for those markets, not general-purpose computing, and it's just not useful to us," McNierney said.

Existing XO laptops, whose primary audience is children in developing countries, come with x86 chips and offer Linux and Windows operating systems. But OLPC and its partners like Sugar Labs have made progress in developing power-management features in Linux and that is the OS of choice for XO-3, McNierney said.

"Our ability to achieve our low power goals depends on being able to make appropriate changes throughout the operating system, and that's just not possible except in an open source environment," McNierney said.

An XO-3 prototype will first be displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show early next year running Google's Android OS, Negroponte said in an e-mail. By January 2012, XO-3 will likely run a different Linux OS.

Current XO laptops run Linux with the Sugar platform, which provides an education-specific user interface. Sugar development is being managed by Sugar Labs, a nonprofit organization. McNierney said the company plans to stick to Sugar, but developers will need to adapt it for multitouch input capabilities to conform with XO-3's tablet design. Developers may also need to come up with alternative desktop interface ideas, McNierney said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags notebooksOLPC XO-3oplcMicrosoftone laptop per child

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?