Over the past few months we’ve heard inklings that Microsoft was in talks with the OLPC project to test Windows XP on the low-cost XO laptop. Now the New York Times is reporting that the OLPC organization will rollout a limited trial of Windows XP in four or five countries next month. If things go well, we could see a wider release by Septemeber.
The OLPC team doesn’t plan to stop offering Linux based computers. But the deal with Microsoft might make the XO more attractive to some nations and educational purchasers who had balked at the idea of paying for computers that didn’t run Windows, still the dominant desktop operating system in most of the world.
The Windows license will add $3 to the price of the machines, and the extra hardware required to dual boot both Windows and Linux will add another $7.
Update: CNET reports that the Sugar team hopes to port the software to run on different computers. One of the first targets: The Asus Eee PC.