Microsoft Joins the OLPC Project

We've known for some time that Microsoft was working hard at getting Windows XP slimmed down and running on the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO-1.  They've apparently succeeded as on Thursday Microsoft and the OLPC Foundation announced an agreement that will make Windows XP available on XO laptops.

The availability of Windows, in addition to Linux, on the XO laptop will allow customers to have an expanded choice of operating environments that best fit their requirements. The intention is to create a version of the XO laptop that provides the ability to host both Windows and Linux operating systems, giving users the ability to run either on the XO laptop.

“Transforming education is a fundamental goal of Microsoft Unlimited Potential, our ambitious effort to bring sustained social and economic opportunity to people who currently don’t enjoy the benefits of technology,” said Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft. “By supporting a wide variety of affordable computing solutions for education that includes OLPC’s XO laptop, we aim to make technology more relevant, accessible and affordable for students everywhere.”

According to Microsoft, this is the same basic Windows XP implementation that runs on the Intel Class Mate, ASUS Eee PC, and other products in the ULCPC category.  However, Microsoft had to write multiple custom drivers and a BIOS to get Windows to boot from an SD card in order to do the Windows port to the XO.