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.
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
"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
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
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.
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.