I suspect very much that Saint Nick has taken a page out of the manual drafted by the Linux Foundation. Else, how would he expect people to swallow the following argument?
1. We are using an OS called Sugar on the XO laptop
2. We are going to be dual-booting this with XP shortly.
3. Later, Sugar will run on top of XP.
4. This does not mean the role that Sugar plays in the project is diminished.
5. It actually means that the role played by Sugar is enhanced.
Shades of George Orwell and Animal Farm, methinks.
Negroponte's announcement about XP included an excuse for the departure of Walter Bender, once the number 2 in the project.
Bender was demoted sometime back and has now chosen to go his own way. He is the third high-profile person to leave, following Mary-Lou Jepsen and Ivan Krstic.
Negroponte can spin things any way he wants; one does wonder, though, how he reconciles the change to XP with this "core" principle of his project:
"There is no inherent external dependency in being able to localize (sic) software into their language, fix the software to remove bugs, and repurpose the software to fit their needs. Nor is there any restriction in regard to redistribution; OLPC cannot know and should not control how the tools we create will be re-purposed in the future."
And one wonders what the Australian distributors of the OLPC will do now, given that the project appears to have degenerated into one that merely hawks laptops running XP. The identity of the distributor is not provided on the website, nor is there any email address for contact, just a bog standard form for submitting inquiries.
But then if one is planning to sell laptops running XP, the lack of transparency is understandable.
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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.