Microsoft and One Laptop per Child Partner to Deliver Affordable Computing to Students Worldwide Microsoft Windows now available on the XO laptop; trials to begin in key

emerging markets as early as next month.



    REDMOND, Wash., and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 Today, Microsoft Corp. and One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced an
 agreement that will make the Microsoft Windows operating system available
 on OLPC's low-cost XO laptops for the world's poorest children. Through
 this agreement, trials of the XO running Windows are planned to begin as
 soon as June in key emerging markets. Recognizing that the challenge of
 providing high-quality education for children in the developing world is
 too large to be solved by any single organization, Microsoft and OLPC are
 committed to working with governments and nongovernmental organizations to
 ensure the success of these pilot programs.
 
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     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)
 
     The availability of Windows, in addition to Linux, on the XO laptop
 will allow customers to have an expanded choice of operating environments
 that best fit their requirements. The intention is to create a version of
 the XO laptop that provides the ability to host both Windows and Linux
 operating systems, giving users the ability to run either on the XO laptop.
 
     "Transforming education is a fundamental goal of Microsoft Unlimited
 Potential, our ambitious effort to bring sustained social and economic
 opportunity to people who currently don't enjoy the benefits of
 technology," said Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at
 Microsoft. "By supporting a wide variety of affordable computing solutions
 for education that includes OLPC's XO laptop, we aim to make technology
 more relevant, accessible and affordable for students everywhere."
 
     "From the beginning, the goal of OLPC has been to use technology to
 transform education by bringing connectivity and constructionist learning
 to the poorest children throughout the world," said Nicholas Negroponte,
 founder and chairman of OLPC. "Today's announcement, coupled with future
 plans for a dual boot version of the XO laptop, enhances our ability to
 deliver on this vision. In addition, OLPC will work with third parties to
 port its user interface, called 'Sugar,' to Windows."
 
     Customers and partners worldwide have requested Windows support for the
 XO laptop, because it opens the door for students and educators to access
 the benefits of existing Windows-based educational software and tools, as
 well as a broad ecosystem that provides extensive relevant and local
 educational content.
 
     "As I plan my region's investment in technology, I must evaluate the
 best way to provide quality education and prepare my citizens for the work
 force," said Andres Gonzalez Diaz, governor of Cundinamarca, Colombia.
 "Windows support on the XO device means that our students and educators
 will now have access to more than computer-assisted learning experiences.
 They will also develop marketable technology skills, which can lead to jobs
 and opportunities for our youth of today and the work force of tomorrow."
 
     "Technology's positive impact can lead to the accelerated development
 of competencies and life skills for students everywhere," said Edward
 Granger-Happ, chief information officer of international nonprofit
 organization Save the Children. "The benefits of Microsoft's proven
 technology platforms for all program areas offered in conjunction with
 OLPC's XO laptop create enormous potential for children and teachers to
 learn, grow and contribute to their communities."
 
     Microsoft has spent more than a year working with a variety of partners
 to develop customized drivers that enable Windows to run on the XO laptop.
 Windows now supports the laptop's e-book reading mode, standard Wi-Fi
 networking, camera, writing pad and custom keys, as well as the
 power-saving and other features of the XO hardware. The adaptation of
 standard Windows for the XO laptop means that hundreds of thousands of
 third-party applications and devices available for Windows will now be
 compatible with the XO laptop, extending the power and advantages of the
 full Windows ecosystem to XO laptop users. Additional technical details
 regarding Windows for the XO laptop and a video demonstration can be found
 at http://blogs.technet.com/jamesu.
 
     About Unlimited Potential
 
     Microsoft, through its Unlimited Potential vision, is committed to
 making technology more affordable, relevant and accessible for the 5
 billion people around the world who do not yet enjoy its benefits. The
 company aims to do so by helping to transform education and foster a
 culture of innovation, and through these means enable better jobs and
 opportunities. By working with governments, intergovernmental
 organizations, nongovernmental organizations and industry partners,
 Microsoft hopes to reach its first major milestone -- to reach the next 1
 billion people who are not yet realizing the benefits of technology -- by
 2015.
 
     About One Laptop per Child
 
     One Laptop per Child (OLPC at http://www.laptop.org) is a non-profit
 organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media
 Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are
 sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to
 knowledge and modern forms of education. These XO laptops are rugged and so
 energy efficient that they can be powered by a child manually. The pricing
 goal is $100.
 
     About Microsoft
 
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.
 
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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