Microsoft Teams Up with One Laptop Per Child

The One Laptop Per Child iniative, led by computer researcher Nicholas Negroponte, has a proud history of pioneering open source technology with the Linux operating system. This week, however, OLPC and Microsoft announced an agreement to begin selling the laptops, specially designed for education in poor classrooms, with Windows XP operability. The price for the machines, currently around $200 but set to drop with growing demand, will increase by about $3 each. Negroponte believes that the inclusion of Windows on the computers will make them more marketable to governments in the developing world, which have shown hesitation in embracing the Linux system for their children.

Many observers have been surprised by the collaboration between the two companies, citing Microsoft’s traditional hostility to open source software. But, both companies and consumers alike seem to agree that familiarizing children in third world countries with Windows could only improve their set of skills and potential for success in the increasingly global and computer based economy.

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