The head of the OLPC project announced they are cooperating with Microsoft on a dual-boot system that will make it possible to put both Linux and Windows on the OLPC laptops.
We are working with them very closely to make a dual-boot system so that, like on an Apple, you can boot either one up. The version that's up and running of Windows on the XO is very fast, it's very, very successful. We're working very hard to do both," said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of OLPC.
It's a brand new development for the XO laptops, as the low-cost notebooks are known, and came about because of Microsoft's friendlier attitude towards open source software.
Microsoft has embraced the open source community over the past few years in a very different way than before, Negroponte said. "And that really helps, because it's become a little bit less religious than it was a few years ago and that's really good. In the end, I think, the more people that have software and hardware out there, the better."
The OLPC laptop currently runs a Fedora-based Linux OS, and Microsoft has offered a version of Windows XP for the laptop project. There had been speculation that OLPC would simply offer two separate laptop PCs, but a dual-boot system could remove the need to offer two separate laptops. Such a device could also reduce the need to have competing low-cost laptops -- running Linux or Windows -- in the marketplace. Taiwan's Asustek Computer has already launched an ultra-low cost laptop PC capable of running Windows XP, and executives at the company have touted XP compatibility as an advantage over the XO.