View Full Version : BBC: Microsoft aims to double PC base

April 21st, 2007, 12:04 PM
Microsoft aims to double PC base

Microsoft software will sell for just $3 (1.50) in some parts of the world in an attempt to double the number of global PC users.

The firm wants to bring computing to a further one billion people by 2015.

Governments in developing countries can purchase the cut-price software, if they provide free PCs for schools.

Other companies and organisations are also trying to boost computer literacy in developing countries, notably the One Laptop per Child project.

The OLPC are in the final stages of developing a low cost, durable laptop, designed to work specifically in an educational context.

Millions of laptops running a Linux operating system will be start to be delivered to developing nations this summer.

The eventual aim is to sell the machine to developing countries for $100 but the current cost of the machine is about $150.

The first countries to sign up to buying the machine, which is officially dubbed XO, include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Rwanda, Nigeria and Libya.

more here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6571139.stm

I think this is bad News for Ubuntu. What do you think?

Jussi Kukkonen
April 21st, 2007, 12:46 PM
I think this is bad News for Ubuntu. What do you think?
Not really. This is aimed at countries where the cost of a copy of Windows has so far been exactly $0 (and yes, in many places that includes schools and government agencies) -- it doesn't really change anything in the Ubuntu-Windows comparison.

If this helps make the software copyright situation in those countries better (as in make more people actually realize when they are using illegal software, and care about that), it'll only be good for free software... Not to mention the psychological effect: maybe basic software, like a down-to-earth OS, will finally became a commodity.

April 21st, 2007, 05:23 PM

April 21st, 2007, 05:48 PM
I think this is bad News for Ubuntu. What do you think?

Bad news that Ubuntu isn't on the OLPC or that Microsoft are selling Windows cheap?

Ubuntu not being on the laptops is fine by me. I can see older children digging into the workings of their OLPC machine and eventually helping to develop Linux and other Open code for us!

April 21st, 2007, 06:03 PM
Do you hear the dogs barking?
It's a sign that we move forward....

April 21st, 2007, 07:06 PM
Yet, it's very funny how Gates plans to squeeze his Windows into the OLPC hardware. In fact they have cheated themselves setting Windows requirements higher and higher. Linux is perfectly scalable to fit well into the moderate OLPC hardware and I can't say the same about Windows...

April 21st, 2007, 07:15 PM
Windows is feeling the heat from Linux with OLPC, so they may as well make at least 3bux instead of nobux, and while they make their 3bux they can spread their disease.

It's not that they want to be charitable, they just don't want Linux to get a foothold.

Why can't they just give it away, do they need that 3 dollars, or would that be against their EULA to not make at least some profit off these poor people?

And why do they want a crippled OS that's probably only worth 3 dollars, I wouldn't pay 3 dollars for a
'Ultra Basic Windows Poverty Stricken Edition'

April 21st, 2007, 07:30 PM
Do you understand that they'll have to go back to Windows 3.1 to be able to fit it into the tiny OLPC brains? Because people in Microsoft don't... They'll have to rewrite Windows from scratch.

April 21st, 2007, 07:46 PM
look at those viri fly!

April 21st, 2007, 07:52 PM
Oh, I don't think that M$ is really trying to wedge Windows onto the OLPC HW - that would be nigh impossible. I get the impression that they want to sell the $3 version on more "normal" low-end PCs. The OLPC HW is very different from a normal PC or even a normal laptop. It has relatively weak processing/RAM/storage but it's very rugged and consumes little power and it has wireless networking built in to create ad-hoc networks. Just what they need in places without reliable electricity and communication lines.

It's not so bad that Ubuntu isn't on it either. I like and use Ubuntu, but it's a "full-featured" OS (like "big-boned") and even in Xubuntu form it doesn't scale down all that well to very low-end HW. There are better Linux solutions for that, like DSL and Puppy. (And apparently, Red Hat with heavy modification and a completely new UI layer.)

Anyway, what's good for Linux is good for Ubuntu. Users who learn Linux on one distro can easily try others later, when/if they find the resources to do it. Linux distros should not be afraid of fair competition - like M$ is.