The OLPC project is resurrecting its “give one, get one” program that allows end users in developed countries to purchase the XO laptop which is designed for children in developing nations. The idea is that you pay about twice the cost of an XO and you get one while another is donated to a young person.
Last year the price tag was $399 and you could order directly through the OLPC web site. This year Amazon will be handling the sales. It’s not clear if the price will be higher or lower this year. On the one hand, production costs have probably come down a bit. On the other hand, OLPC is expected to release a version of the XO laptop that runs both Linux and Windows XP in the next month or two. So you might be able to pay a few bucks extra to get a dual boot XO.
However, I would wonder how the XO can actually run MS Office on XP? Do you REALLY mean OFFICE, which is extremely bloated and expensive? Or would they mean a slimmed down version of MS Works? Which MS tend to include on mini-notebooks.
It would be interesting to see how XP runs on the XO in the field. And how long it stays up when connected to the internet. The general opinion seems to be that XP connected to the internet lasts around 12 minutes, maybe more on a slow link, before the computer is zombified.
I don’t know how well these will sell unless they implement power management (including suspend/resume) that doesn’t corrupt SD cards, provide drivers for the stylus areas, and improve the performance and capabilities of Sugar.
If they come with a more traditional Linux distro installed and/or optimized version of XP, then it could really shake things up in the netbook arena.
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