One-Laptop-Per-Child to Use ARM CPUs: Will Windows XP Follow?

Mar 13, 2009

The One-Lap-Per-Child (OLPC) project no longer wants to depend on x86 processors, but is moving to the power-saving ARM CPUs some time in the future. Only thing is, ARM isn't supported on Windows XP.

It hasn't even been a year that OLPC chairman Nicholas Negroponte and Microsoft announced the first laptops with Windows XP. Since then a few things in the OLPC project have changed: its staff was cut by a half and development of the Sugar open source interface was turned over to the community. According to the project, they're concentrating more on the XO-2.
They also seem to be doing a 180-degree turn. According to a recent PCWorld article, OLPC wants the XO-2 to go on ARM processors in place of the Geode chip from AMD used in the XO-1. OLPC's chief technologist Ed McNierney feels that the XO-1's 5-watt power consumption is still too high and that they can save further with the ARM chip for the XO-2.
Unfortunately, Windows Mobile is the only Microsoft OS using the ARM CPU, not even for XP. Negroponte is now in talks with Microsoft about an appropriate Windows port: "Like many, we are urging Microsoft to make Windows – not Windows Mobile – available on the Arm. This is a complex question for them," as he reported to PCWorld.

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  • XO-2

    Seems like the Atom processor would be a better fit. Its inexpensive, and already runs WinXP.
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