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One (Windows) Laptop Per ChildDemand for the cute, green One Laptop Per Child computers with the Windows OS was so great that Microsoft will release this version in a handful of emerging markets. CNET News senior writer Ina Fried talks to Kara Tsuboi about what's different in the...
[ music ] ^m00:00:04 >> I'm CNET's Kara Tsuboi. Here is CNET writer Ina Fried to talk about the one laptop per child that now comes with Microsoft Windows operating system. This is a really big departure from simply offering the Linux version. >> Ina Fried: It is. I mean when they first started, it was a big part of their almost religion of open source software. That said, they got a lot of push back from countries that really wanted Windows and said to the one laptop per child project, you're not even gonna be in the running if you don't have a Windows version. So lot of demand ... so they came to the table, Microsoft came to the table, they've been working on this for awhile now and we're one of the first to have a copy of it to look at. So this is the OLPC running Windows. >> Kara Tsuboi: And how does this Microsoft Windows version differ from what you would get on your desktop or your laptop at home? >> Ina Fried: It's pretty similar. I mean, this is Windows XP Pro, built to fit on a small screen. The big thing Microsoft had to do was 2 things: one - there's no hard drive in there. So as is the case with the EPC and some other things, Microsoft had to get it to boot off flash memory - in this case off of an SD card. >> Kara Tsuboi: Does that make it faster or slower, slower ... >> Ina Fried: It actually makes it in some cases a little zippier. >> Kara Tsuboi: Great. >> Ina Fried: The processor is not a high end processor, so this isn't like a super computer but there are some benefits with flash memory. The other thing is writing some drivers to support the custom track pad, the keyboard, some of the other things that are a little different about the OLPC. >> Kara Tsuboi: Explain how this Windows version differs from the Linux version? >> Ina Fried: So there are actually a lot of differences between what the OLPC looks and feels like in Windows versus Linux. With Windows you get all the good and the bad that comes with Windows. Essentially it's Windows, it's no easier or harder to use than Windows itself. There is some tutorials and educational software that Microsoft has at it's disposal but it's ... as intimidating or as friendly as you find Windows, that's what you got; whereas on the Linux side it had this sugar user interface that's kind of fun, kind of intuitive ... still it's own quirks and stuff so not necessarily easier but in a bunch of educational software built in. Obviously there's a lot of educational software for Windows as well, but it lost a little of it's personality I'd say - maybe get's more versatility with Windows, loses a little bit of personality. >> Kara Tsuboi: Now I know you've had some experts play with both of these machines side by side. Any initial reactions? >> Ina Fried: I did. I thought it was important ... who cares what I think about it. This is really a laptop for children so I asked the child of one of our coworkers to give it a look see and here's what she had to say. >> Kara Tsuboi: Great. >> Ummm ... I think the Windows one was a little bit easier to use. >> Ina Fried: If you could only have one of them, which would you choose? >> Probably the Linux one. I think it has more interesting games and is funner. Well this Magic Tree House game that I'm playing right now is very fun, it's about science and ... stuff like that. It's about stuff like volcanoes. >> Ina Fried: How about the keyboard? >> It's ... works well, it's easy to type with. I like it. ^m00:03:20 >> Kara Tsuboi: Where is this laptop gonna be available? >> Ina Fried: So basically anywhere that's not the U. S. >> Kara Tsuboi: Too bad. >> Ina Fried: Yeah. So basically Microsoft is making it available to all the places that OLPC is trying to go in terms of developing countries. The one place you won't see it is in their give one get one program. That's what allows people in the U. S. to buy one machine for themselves and then another one gets donated. Last year it was about 400 dollars for basically 2 laptops. They're doing that again this year but it's only gonna be the Linux version. In part, the way Microsoft licenses Windows; they don't charge hardly anything for it when it's going into those emerging markets. It's not licenses the same way for consumers. Also there's not really support with the OLPC give one get one, and that was a big issue for Microsoft. They don't really want to put a Windows computer out there and say, oh there's no support. So ... you won't see it in the U. S. but it is interesting to see it up and running. >> Kara Tsuboi: Absolutely. Thank you for getting your hands on it, it's been a good experiment with our Ella, our little 8 year old, and exciting news for Microsoft. >> Ina Fried: Great! >> Kara Tsuboi: Thanks so much. CNET News CNET writer Ina Fried, I'm Kara Tsuboi. You're watching CNET. [ music ]