OLPC XO to Get Competition, MS Holds Up XO?

Jack Schofield writes that Asustek, assemblers of some of Dell’s laptops and Apple MacBooks, plans their own line of sub-$250 laptops. Asustek VP Jerry Shen says sales could reach 10 million units in 2008. It’s going to be based on the Intel Classmate, which is designed for either Linux or Windows.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is now complicating things for the OLPC project. The $3 Windows starter edition is targeted directly at OLPC. Nicholas Negroponte stunned the world last week when he said the XO will run Windows. Now it appears Microsoft isn’t quite up to the task of running on the XO as-is. Will the XO be delayed so it can be re-engineered, or will Microsoft set a team on the problem of scaling their software and making it work as efficiently as Linux does on it? My bet is money talks, even at $3 a head.

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