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The XO laptop gets a Windows makeover
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 24 October 2008 12:05
 The XO laptop gets a Windows makeover
Posted by Ina Fried
October 24, 2008 4:00 AM PDT

On the outside, the Windows version of the XO laptop looks just like the Linux model. But simply booting up the device shows that the Windows version bears little resemblance to the original One Laptop Per Child device.
With the Microsoft version, you get Windows, for all the good and bad that entails. It's full-on Windows--XP Professional, in fact--and can run basically any software that can adjust itself to the mini-laptop's diminutive screen and modest processor.

Microsoft has managed to slim down the OS enough to boot up off a 2GB flash memory card and has written drivers for a number of the XO laptop's unique features, such as its scratch pad, game controller, and built-in camera.

But what's missing in the Windows version is the personality that oozes out of the Linux incarnation. The Linux model comes with an integrated suite of educational games, programming tools, and other software, all built around a kid-friendly OS shell known as Sugar.

The Windows version of the XO doesn't have much of that built-in spunk, although a child-oriented programming tool known as Scratch did survive the Linux-to-Windows switch.

At the same time, having Windows allows students to take advantage not only of Microsoft's dominant Office suite, but of all the educational software that has already been written for Windows.

For the past week, I've had two XO laptops on my desk, one of each OS variety.

I've taken them both to coffee shops and let myself explore each machine. I'll save my thoughts for a later post.   [C/Net News...]  [Comments...]

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