[lug] OLPC Will Ship With Windows XP

dio2002 at indra.com dio2002 at indra.com
Fri May 16 17:22:25 MDT 2008

how do i reply to this on a linux based group :-).

i for one believe that the altruistic and potential benefit for linux 
only on these laptops could be enormous in the long run.  for both linux 
(especially linux) and for the kids or adults that wind up using them.

that said, i think what we forget though is that we live in the first 
world and have a lot of choice.  we can learn both linux AND windows if 
we choose.  we can love what we want about each, choose to support each 
in our own businesses or where we work. we can avoid one or the other if 
we want as well.

lets face it though, some of us just use our computer and OS of choice 
purely for entertainment. i'd lump most email into that as well.  fact 
is we spend a lot of time on our boxes d*cking around with music, 
photos, videos, etc.  stuff that we do in our free time AFTER we've 
already made our money elsewhere.

i'm trying to put myself in the shoes of the third worlder that might be 
receiving one of these laptops.  although i'm sure entertainment will be 
an inevitable result of using these laptops, i can't help but think the 
real motivation of the project might be to have these laptops help bring 
these populations out of poverty.  either through outright businesses or 
the communications and information capability that they provide via 
internet assuming they can be networked reliably.

if i was personally on the receiving end of one of these laptops, i'd 
like it to help me from a business standpoint.  i'd want to know how i 
could use this to help put myself and my country on an equal footing 
with the rest of the planet.  not just so we can become another consumer 
of entertainment to idle away my time but so that we could potentially 
create, deliver and offer a useful product or service that might be 
consumed, domestically or otherwise.

putting windoze on these boxes definitely decreases the entry to market 
for some of these potential products in many ways.  i also know the 
devil in the details can be extended further when you consider that 
mostly commercial sw and usually MS sw at that runs on MS OS based 
boxes.  that definitely DOES suck.

but i can't help but think having an MS OS choice results in some real 
benefits to these folks.  it helps them learn and see how the rest of 
the business world really works.  i know you and i might prefer linux 
for many things but statistics still show it to be in the overwhelming 
minority as far as desktop usage.  ironically, in that capacity i think 
it helps put these folks on a more even keel if we're really concerned 
about lifting them out of poverty.

for instance, if the first step in lifting them out of poverty is that 
they might work in a support call center some day, it's probably very 
beneficial to know how the other guy on the end of the line is using his 
desktop.  linux doesn't really help here imho.

on the other hand, linux is free.  due to it's open source nature, it in 
theory probably provides the ultimate really good business opportunities 
for these third world entrepreneurs to be.  for example they can create 
web apps, etc.  if they should decide to create something used 
domestically out of the knowledge set they aquire, it allows them to not 
have to worry about catering to the MS bias elsewhere in the world.

that would be really cool and i think is where a lot of linux folks get 
pissed off about this whole thing.  folks wonder how it would have been 
if linux had been mature around the time MS appeared on the scene.  it's 
pretty easy to imagine no MS today and a lot of free software.

but that's not the case.  and whose to say that linux wouldn't have 
evolved into the commercial behemoth that is MS today.  linux really was 
a mindset that arose in opposition to MS.  if there was no MS, maybe 
linux wouldn't exist in it's current form.  maybe something called 
"opensource ms" would be nipping at commercial linux these days. 
entirely different topic.

back to the topic ;-).  the learning curve is probably a lot steeper 
with linux.  and it's probably going to require an online link to 
download the pages to help one come up to speed on how to use the 
underlying technologies.  a dedicated internet link doesn't come with 
any of these laptops so that's a challenge.

i don't have all the answers but something tells me that having a choice 
in this case which most of these people don't normally have is probably 
a good thing here.  we have it.  a lot of us make money based on the 
plethora of tech choices that exist.  why shouldn't they be able to play 
on the same field?

i will make that statement even though i'm sure MS probably doesn't 
think of it in the same altruistic way i do.  i'm sure some bean counter 
is thinking mostly in terms of potential future customers and sales.

as i said, linux probably has the most upside but having choices can be 
a good thing, especially when you don't normally have them.

as a side note, i haven't followed this project as closely as some of 
you but i read an article yesterday which said that adding MS to the 
equation only added an additional $7 or $8 to the laptop cost.  if 
that's true and it's always hard to tell because everyone is probably 
blowing smoke depending on what side of the fence you stand on, the $100 
laptop that is now $200 shouldn't all be leveled on MS.

anyway.  just something to chew on.

disclaimer: i am so definitely not a MS supporter. at all.  i'm just not 
a linux bigot either, even though i know it excels on many fronts. :-)

Steve A Hart wrote:
> Did I read that right?  Someone actually said that they WANT 
> windows?!?!?  I'm thinking you're on the wrong user group my friend!
> Steve
> kevin kempter wrote:
>> y, I'm in the same boat, I'd rather stick hot needles in my eyes than 
>> have to run windows.
>> On May 16, 2008, at 1:55 PM, Stephen Queen wrote:
>>>> It seems that the developing world wants exactly the same as the 
>>>> rest of us:
>>>> Windows.
>>> I would not put myself into the set, "the rest of us". I do not want 
>>> Windows.
>>> Steve
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