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Comparison of Windows XP and Linux/Sugar On the OLPC XO 203

griffjon writes "OLPCNews has a comparison of Windows XP to the Sugar/Linux OS on the One Laptop Per Child XO-1, based on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential video, touching on video recording, power usage, boot times, and mesh networking. An interesting, if saddening, read."
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Comparison of Windows XP and Linux/Sugar On the OLPC XO

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  • $3 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:11PM (#24353393)

    MS has no plans to Kill XP. Its the best OS they have going. Now that it is a stable version, and no longer "for sale" on new pc's, they can sell it for $3, and put it on low end laptops in order to reach a new set of customers, and keep them in the MS loop forever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:23PM (#24353489)

    OK, so I'm a Linux fanboy. I don't find tfa the least bit sad.

  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:24PM (#24353501) Homepage Journal

    I thought MS was determined to kill XP, so what point are they trying to make showing how well it can run on the XO?

    They were. Then they realized that Linux would eat their lunch on the OLPC and they knew that Vista boot times on an OLPC would be geologic... if it could run on the machine at all.

    Basically, Microsoft got caught with their crappy product being wholly incapable of supporting a new market that was emerging. XP would get a reprieve from this death sentence only to prevent Microsoft from (rightly) looking incapable of supporting low-end hardware. Basically, the cold hard reality of Vista's bloat is too big for even Microsoft to ignore.

    Hopefully more and more people will realize that Microsoft hasn't done anything useful since XP was released, except for fixes to XP.

  • by stavros-59 ( 1102263 ) * on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:37PM (#24353583)
    Microsoft really don't get the point of the OLPC. They've missed the market for mini laptops and only have Windows XP to offer that market. Shoehorning a kludgy XP and Office, antivirus and protection onto the OLPC makes it a far less useful product.

    They are doing the same thing to the EEEPC.

    Microsoft's Plans for the distribution of EEEPCs in India [techtree.com]
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) * on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:37PM (#24353587) Homepage Journal

    Despite all the shortfalls mentioned, M$ marketing will tell you that XP is better than that toy OS but XP is all you can run on toy hardware and be able to do "real work". If you want to do real work right, they will tell you to buy Intel's latest and cripple it with Vista. I know, that has nothing to do with reality but that's what they will tell you.

    When it comes to education, they will point to piles and piles of really awful "educational" software available for XP that will soon be ported to Vista. Or they will do what they did here and act like XP + Office and a thumb drive for "sharing" is all you need. Who knows, as the article pointed out, none of it will work once you put in AV and viruses eat it anyway. The sad fact is that XO and Sugar met a real need in a way that M$ can't, but M$ is going to bribe and lie until XO is destroyed.

  • Re:Sugar is worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edalytical ( 671270 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:43PM (#24353629)

    Besides slow, which I can't comment on, everything else you mentioned is a feature. I don't think they're all that bad either.

    If sugar was a "real" program (whatever that means) as opposed to a script it wouldn't be user modifiable (at least at runtime).

    Honestly when is the last time you saw a novice user create a directory? My mom and my sister certainly don't. On that same note it's not like you couldn't use a naming scheme that would effectively manage your files like directories. All you have to do is prefix related files with some kind of identifier. For all intend and purpose that's what a directory name really is, a prefix. It doesn't matter if it's not supported at the file system level.

    If those so-called "spam" files contain the amount of time you spent with a program and other useful things like your interactions with the program then I think they aren't useless. Tracking your time is an important skill that many people haven't learned. Doing it for the user is very useful. The Wii tracks your time it's pretty interesting and useful too.

  • by Flavio ( 12072 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:45PM (#24353637)

    I can understand why Microsoft might wish to run XP on the X0 but what I struggle to understand is why anyone is comparing them to one another.

    The point of comparing Sugar to XP is to demonstrate what most of us predicted -- i.e., that XP is completely unsuitable for this application.

    Having XP in the marketplace annoys me, but my irritation is limited because people have alternatives. A child who gets XP preinstalled on the XO will probably have no alternative and will be left with an inferior product. I hope reviewers keep denouncing Microsoft's involvement with the XO, because no good can come of it.

  • by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:22PM (#24353877)

    Please help me out here, does the author really think that kids in third world countries are going to be doing development work on these limited devices? Based on the quote below from the article the author really beleives that these devices should be open to tampering/fiddling. Does he think that if the device fails there will be a geek squad near by? Are hacking skills of value when you live in a mud hut?\

    Kids today. Many of us had Apple/Commodore as the first computer, mucked around a good bit just for no good reason, and learned a good bit of how computer works, and there were no Geek Squad. That's how you learn.

    Btw, these are going to developing countries where computers for kids makes some sense, not cavemenistan. It'd be nice if they marketed these things here (US) also rather than only those countries though - today's mainstream PCs just ain't designed for kids to learn the basic.

    Geek Squad, pah.

  • OLPC is Irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by awitod ( 453754 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:50PM (#24354119)

    They should have extended the BOGO (buy one get one) promotion or made it possible for people in the developed world to buy one. As it is, noone can develop software for it, because, near as I can tell, you can't buy one.

    So, of course, TFA is based on a video. The OLPC is resigned to a third world ghetto and will eventually fade into obscurity, which is a shame.

  • by markov_chain ( 202465 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:58PM (#24354187) Homepage

    This argument comes up a lot; I guess it has a lot of appeal for the geek types, who started out early, tinkering with their {Atari|Commodore|Apple|Spectrum}, learning to program, etc. Sugar is almost exactly aimed at those types of kids. But I can't help but think that such users are a minority, and that the effort is lost on most others. When I think of average kids in my grade they would probably just stare blankly when told about "source code" and go send penis pictures to each other or something.

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @11:02PM (#24354205) Homepage Journal

    The point of comparing Sugar to XP is to demonstrate what most of us predicted -- i.e., that XP is completely unsuitable for this application.

    And that, believe it or not, is actually good news.

    People want Windows on the XO because they think that kids need "practical" tools, like Microsoft Office, so they can develop "marketable" skills. Which is nonsense. There aren't that many jobs for people with those kinds of skills, especially not in rural villages in the developing world. Kids in those places need learning tools that help them build their knowledge and skill base on their own.

    So Windows on the XO is unworkable. Great. Now the OLPC people can get back to doing something more useful than producing yet another Wintel clone.

  • The point of comparing Sugar to XP is to demonstrate what most of us predicted -- i.e., that XP is completely unsuitable for this application.

    Exactly -- It seems... obvious? But the pushback (slashdotters in favor of Windows over Linux? Is it Opposite Day??) is pretty amazing. Sugar is built to be an educational tool; XP was built to be a business tool. There are many, many great arguments why XP is a bad idea for the OLPC XO; but they are often lost on people. TFA is just trying to do a straight, point-by-point comparison to show how bad XP really is as a replacement for Sugar.

  • Re:Negroponte (Score:3, Insightful)

    by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:52AM (#24354917)

    A coincidence doesn't imply that one shouldn't be careful. If I find that money is missing from my car whenever I give Freddie a ride, it doesn't mean Freddie is stealing. Police use coincidences all the time. Fortunately, our legal system requires physical proof rather than coincidence most of the time. Three coincidences probably would not be enough to convict anyone, that damn reasonable doubt thing and all.

    I might be more careful leaving money in the car when Freddie is around. But I sure wouldn't go around telling all my friends Freddie is a thief either.

    I don't find it a reasonable conclusion. An interesting theory, but without facts it is baseless. That's like saying 'I don't know where those lights in the sky came from, therefore aliens spaceships must be the cause'. Interesting theory, but I'll need more facts.

    Your last comment is irrelevant, there could be hundreds of reasons George W Bush is president without any merit that have nothing to do with his father. Sidestepping a discussion this way is a common tactic that conspiracy nuts use when they run out of evidence. That doesn't mean someone who uses it is a conspiracy nut.

    It's just a coincidence, I'm sure.

  • Atrocious writing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:54AM (#24354931)

    I read the first paragraph and had no idea of the author's conclusion. I read the second paragraph and had no idea of the conclusion. I read the third, fourth, fifth, and six paragraphs and had no idea of the conclusion.

    Tech articles aren't murder mysteries. State your conclusion up front, then explain and confirm it in later ones. I may not have time or desire to read the whole article, but at least this way I get your point right off the bat.

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @01:59AM (#24355305) Journal

    Does the author really think that kids in third world countries are going to be doing development work on these limited devices?

    I don't see why he would not expect that, I learned my first programing in basic on a much smaller machine in terms of power and storage, even if it was much larger and more power hungry (TI99/4A).

    Are hacking skills of value when you live in a mud hut?

    I don't see why not, not every application has to be some complex financial app, or web browser, big gui anything. Maybe you need a basic calculater to help you decide when to plant crops. I can easily imagine some farmer wanting to record daily temperatures or rain fail year over year and have the computer provide some basic trends. That is the kind of thing you could do in BASIC or Python and could be highly useful.

  • by MathFox ( 686808 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:21AM (#24356415)
    It is not just the OLPC, there are many manufacturers making sub-notebooks (think EeePC), that run Linux nicely, but have not the power to run Vista. Microsoft could have just given this market to Linux... but that would have been "defeat".
    So spin spin spin, Microsoft allows OEM sales of XP for small laptops... while other manufacturers hear that XP can not be sold anymore...
  • by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:15AM (#24356973) Journal

    XP on the XO is M$ attempt simply to pull some popularity out of the XO and from their point of view trying to force up the cost of hardware to prevent the software appearing as such an expensive waste of money in comparison, hence the resource hog vista. They really have become a myopically greedy company with a complete disregard for the harm their actions cause.

    OLPC is an educational project.
    Microsoft wants, more than anything, to keep infecting younger generations.

    If kids learn to live without Microsoft's software, if they learn to program and hack on a massive scale, there is no force in the world that will make them endorse Microsoft's expensive solutions unless they are significantly better than the competition, i.e. really worth their price.

    This is something that needs to be stopped, as it cuts in their future userbase; it is as if the sheep suddenly started developing civilization: not very good news for shepherds at all.

  • by Caetel ( 1057316 ) * on Sunday July 27, 2008 @05:14PM (#24361125)
    Shouldn't moderation always be according to the content of a post, regardless of poster/subject?
  • by florescent_beige ( 608235 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:25PM (#24361615) Journal
    Ok look, here we have two perfectly fine posts containing perhaps a certain level of snark but for God's sake why must they be modded this way?

    We all have our stories about mod kiddies getting power mad but if a thread like this is judged so beyond the pale of /. sensibility that it must be hidden from default readers then holy heck I'll just go ask my grandmother how much she likes big band music, it would have about the same about of bite as this place does nowadays.

    Soon it'll be to the point where the members with the worst karma will be the most interesting and the ones with the best karma will be so boring we'll all want to kill ourselves.

System checkpoint complete.