Walter Bender has finally spoken on his resignation from One Laptop Per Child. In an email to me, he says he doesn't know about any plans for Windows XP on the XO laptop, so my fears of a Microsoft take-over of OLPC may be unfounded.
In his exit statement on Community News, Walter's thoughts are focused on Open Source software:
The OLPC Association is making headway getting laptops into the hands of children and it is encouraging to see that other non-profit and for-profit organizations are following suit.In his goal, I think we all can welcome Walter to the vibrant one laptop per child volunteer community who strongly support an open education project.
My personal interest is in helping build a community of developers, educators, and learners dedicated to advancing the quality of free and open source software for learning and the sharing of pedagogical approaches in this community by adopting the spirit and methodology of the open-source movement.
At the same time, I hope OLPC realizes that Walter's leaving represents a major trauma to the formal organization. More than Mary Lou Jepsen or Ivan Krstić, Walter Bender was OLPC on a day-to-day basis. In addition, he was the keeper of the education mission and his loss is a major blow to the constructionism mission.
With this level of organizational pain, Nicholas Negroponte needs to show that OLPC's reorganization is really going to increase educational impact, and he's not just moving deck chairs on the Titanic.