Put GPL Code Windows XP on XO


I am Monkey Boy and I wish to add more than my own complaint. I feel I need to add some commentary of my own at this time.

The way to beat Microsoft is to one up them always and consistently. Yes, Microsoft can reach out to media with their own spin and even stoop to graft and corruption of third world political figures to bend the truth as far as they think it will aid them. I do not accuse them of this ugliness; I just want to state that they have the ability to do such.

olpc windows

Putting XP on the OLPC right now will show the platform as being less capable than Sugar. It is the same thing that Linux does with Vista.

Show the computing results and let people decide. Sure, if Microsoft resorts to negativity and the lure of money, eventually it will be found out. How much negative press can one company withstand?

The EU right now has its eye on the company because of how the operating system bundles components that violate their trade agreements. They won in court and Microsoft cannot buy their way out of that. The third world countries do not have a functioning body like the EU but is it the market they would rather have? (EU or Africa?)
Instead of FUD, I propose this: ask Microsoft to join in and play in the OLPC space.

However, it is with this caveat - any OS or productivity suite cannot add $$$ to the cost of the machine. In fact, I challenge Microsoft to offer an "altruistic" image (OS and productivity) for the OLPC that conforms to GPL v2 licensing. That's right, open source! I do not think it would hurt their business model to create such a narrow use platform. If anything, the bet is to see if children get so used to the "Microsoft paradigm" on the OLPC that they would naturally choose to buy a Microsoft system when they outgrow the OLPC.

If Microsoft does implement a "slim client" for the OLPC that has [mostly] GPL code, then the community can truly test apples to apples with verifiable results. And giving people choices is a good thing. In fact, it is the best thing.

As for Sugar and the current OLPC development crew, there needs to be less negativity about others and more heads down work. The OLPC is still not at the $100 price point. More applications still need to be written. Distribution models and closer ties to the public and government officials need to be worked on. There is a lot of work to do. I am not denigrating this version of the OLPC. I think it is remarkable that what was once a vision, an idea, actually has real deliverables and works! This is amazing and nothing should detract from that.

If we outside the project believe in the mandate, then we too should work to accentuate or live up to its guiding principals. I myself pledge to let as many people I know about this machine. I also pledge to take the OLPC I will be getting and investigate it, not as a toy, but as a platform that I can grow and add to the community in both programmatic and heuristic avenues.

Believe me, it is tougher to provide value and opportunity than it is to develop ad hominem attacks. But if the OLPC fails to gain market share, it shouldn't be because of a lack of trying on our part.

This post was first summited as a comment. If you find yourself writing a comment this long too, think about submitting it as post instead.

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Stupid question...what's the point of having Windows XP released as GPL?

So far as I can tell, MS is participating in OLPC the only way they know how, or can. As a publicly traded business (i.e. for profit) they see an emerging market of hardware. MS is in the business of selling OSes and applications that work with those OSes. It's only natural for them to stake a claim into that market.

Really, it's no different than when they birthed Windows CE to fill the low-powered ultra-portable/PDA market.

WinXP GPL2? It will NEVER happen.

Why? It's against their business model, it's exactly the opposite to what they want the public to believe. Have you been following their marketing campaign? They are simply obsessed by the "evilness" of open source, going from treatening to sue Linux customers, to continually stating that open source is bad, unsafe, low quality.

So open sourcing Windows (any version really) is probably the last thing they will do. GPL Windows would be even less than probable.

That being said, I think a good comparison (Sugar vs Windows) would definitively show how bad Windows is. I said it before, the only way to clear the FUD is to actually show the real performance. Show the world how "great" MS is in designing an efficient OS. By showing that Windows is a total disaster on a hardware limited devices it would also show that all MS products are in general not very efficient. It would stop the "upgrade to faster machines to do the same thing" madness.

XP released under GPL?? That's AWESOME! I LOVE IT! Mainly because it'll never happen, but proposing it to them and having them turn it down *would* make them look like the evil empire they are. GREAT IDEA!!! Someone please do it!!

Interesting take - the side-by-side challenge. But I can't see it happening; their reps already are constantly using "we", & it sure sounds to me like they are aiming to take over, & are as cocky as MS always is that it will all happen just the way they say it will--even tho this blog entry from an MS employee mostly whines (IMHO - but then, full disclosure, I'm a total Macfan :-) IRL) about all the incredible challenges & difficulties they have 40 full-time engineers working on in Redmond!
Plus, he keeps keeps taking cheap shots at OLPC, even pretty much says Negroponte is lieing about how far along the project is & the problems still unsolved.
And even pokes at the very notion of volunteeers! As if it were some bizarre new concept.


No mention of donation programs, and speaks of selling training, support...just licking his chops about all those poor kids who will migrate to *buying* M$ crap. Plus, of course, as w/ Intel, none of this sudden magical ability for the majors to make a cheap & durable machine was even a dream until OLPC. It makkes me both angry & sad. So greedy.

Not sure how getting them to turn down a GPL license would make them look any more evil then every other software company which also releases closed source software.

"Yes, Microsoft can reach out to media with their own spin and even stoop to graft and corruption of third world political figures to bend the truth as far as they think it will aid them. I do not accuse them of this ugliness; I just want to state that they have the ability to do such."

That, my friend is called "slander", which is something people can be legally held accountable for.
Would you like me to go around the internet posting that you, Monkey Boy, might theoretically be having inappropriate relations with little kids, but that I do not accuse you of this ugliness; I just want to state that you have the ability to do such? I didn't think so.

But anyway, what was the point of that paragraph? None whatsoever except to be a vehicle for you expressing your dislike of MS.
And you started so well: "The way to beat Microsoft is to one up them always and consistently." That's absolutely right!
Too bad you then had to stoop so low.

As for XP for the OLPC becoming GPL, that's a very naive idea. Nor do I see it as necessary. You can still compare their stuff to the open source software simply by running it side-by-side. Doesn't matter if it's open or closed source - run it on the same hardware, and you shall see the differences, if any.

Regarding MS and the EU, you got that wrong. It has nothing to do with "trade agreements" (the EU is not in the habit of concluding trade agreements with corporations), the EU sanctions are about the (ab)use of monopolistic powers. Although it's hilarious that they chose to pick on something like the MS Media Player when every OS comes with software like that. Heck, Apple even throws in an entire productivity suite with their computers. And prohibits people from running their OS on anything but their own hardware. Or what about the lock between iTunes and the iPod? Now that's abuse! They are just lucky they have only 5 % of the market right now.
Yes, MS almost owns the market, and they are using it to their advantage, but the way to make them behave is not to force them to unbundle harmless tools, because that's, at best, a Pyhrric victory, but to open up and publish their protocols, like they just had to for SAMBA - and of course to get more people to explore non-MS alternatives, be those Mac, BSD or Linux.

So let's be champions of open source, but by showing how well it works, not by speculating what evil things MS may or may not be plotting.