You have got to hand it to Nicholas Negroponte when it comes to spin. One of the reasons why Windows is being ported to the XO laptop which he is selling through the One Laptop Per Child project is, apparently, because it passes "a sort of virility test."
I guess then that it would be logical to assume that a laptop which cannot run Windows is for wimps. In this case, Linux wimps.
Read this wonderful piece, written by CNET's Ina Fried. There can be no posturing after this - OLPC is a commercial project which is selling laptops to provide a living for its employees. Period.
Negroponte has also admitted that he used the open source community to get the project started.
Let me quote the man himself: "For us to launch the laptop, we had no choice but to use open source. We needed the community. We needed to get (in) there at the OS level to build devices and drivers...to make our point, to make the laptop."
And now? I guess we can toss the open source community out, the same way you do with an oily rag. We really don't need it anymore.
At least if Negroponte said that, one would have to give him some credit for being open about his project - finally. But, no, he still continues to play both sides. He has said he is not giving up on Linux. Glory be! Hallelujah!
Many talented people have wasted a lot of time on what is going to turn out as a shofront for Windows; Red Hat's developers could well have used all those hours of development to good use on other projects and people like Walter Bender, Mary-Lou Jepsen and Ivan Krstic who worked on the project out of a sense of idealism could have done good work elsewhere.
Krstic's latest comments about the OLPC are worth a read; let me quote one sentence here: "And the most upsetting part of the Windows announcement is not that it exposed the actual agendas of a number of project participants which had nothing to do with learning, but that Nicholas' misdirection and sleight of hand were allowed to stand."
At the end of it all, we have a shop selling Windows laptops. And, hold on, this is meant to be spreading education. Sure.
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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.