Feeds

OLPC sweet talks Microsoft

Sprinkles Sugar on top of Windows

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC) is adapting its Sugar software package to make it compatible with Microsoft’s operating system.

The group’s founder Nicholas Negroponte said in an email yesterday that it was agreed after months of discussions with the software giant that the XO Laptop, which currently only runs on a Red Hat-developed version of Linux, should be adapted to run Windows.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Negroponte said: “Sugar needs a wider basis, to run on more Linux platforms and run under Windows.”

He said that Microsoft and the Foundation are also exploring the possibility of a dual boot version of the XO with the option to run Linux or Windows.

Negroponte also went to some pains in his email to insist that the non-profit group’s decision to climb into bed with Microsoft does not mean that the group would abandon open source software development.

“Sugar is a very good idea, less than perfectly executed," he said. "I attribute our weakness to unrealistic development goals and practices. Our mission has never changed. It has been to bring connected laptops for learning to children in the poorest and most remote locations of the world.”

“Our mission has never been to advocate the perfect learning model or pure open source. I believe the best educational tool is constructionism and the best software development method is open source.”

The OLPC Foundation started manufacturing the $188 XO laptop, which is designed to save the children of developing countries from a world without technology, late last year.

Earlier this week, the OLPC Foundation lost a key person behind the XO laptop scheme, which reached fewer school kids than the group originally hoped because of reluctance among governments to invest in a non-Windows machine.

According to AP Walter Bender, who is a big open source fan, left the project just at the moment when the organisation opened its arms to Windows.

His resignation was the OLPC's third high-profile casualty inside a few months. Since December its chief technology officer Mary Lou Jepsen and top security architect Ivan Krstic have also left the group.

Bender now has plans to launch an independent effort to further develop Sugar by getting it run to computers other than XOs. He said in an email: "Sugar is in a narrow place and it is ripe to be unleashed." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.