Microsoft is not going to stand on the sidelines when it comes to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. They have given 40 engineers the daunting task of getting Windows XP running on the OLPC (a.k.a. XO project), which is equipped with a 433MHz processor, 256MB or RAM, and a 1GB flash drive. The biggest chores they face is getting XP to fit on such a small drive, and writing drivers that will work with the laptops specialized hardware.
Microsoft is trying to convince the XO project to add a slot for an internal SD memory card, which would be able to boost the amount of storage space to 2GB. It sounds odd that the XO project would listen to Microsoft’s requests, but there have been reports that countries are holding out on buying units because they do not run Windows. So there is some incentive for the XO project to keep an open ear to Microsoft.
Microsoft is hoping to have the a test release of XP for the OLPC in early 2008. They are investigating the possibility of having the operating system installed before the computers even leave the factory, but schools and government will still be required to buy a license. There’s no word on how much that would cost, but manufacturers are rumored to pay $15 to $30 per license for regular versions of Windows, so it will likely be lower than that.
Maybe they’ll also be able to change their slogan from “One learning child. One connected child. One laptop at a time.” to “One learning child. One connected child. One laptop at a time. Unlimited Blue Screens!” :D