OLPC teams up with Microsoft: Cost of Windows XP only $3

Posted by Theo Valich

Boston (MA) - The idea of a $100 laptop sounded fascinating, when we first heard about it. When the product actually became available, the $100 goal was gone, the initial hype seems to have faded and several other companies are cashing in on the cheap laptop trend. Microsoft never seemed to be a great match for the device to keep the price down, but market powers may have succeeded and it has been confirmed that there will be a Windows XP version of the XO notebook.

According to Microsoft, Windows XP on the OLPC system will be “the same basic implementation” as it is already available on other small notebooks, such as Intel’s Classmate PC and the Asus EeePC. However, the implementation isn’t as easy as simply installing Windows on the PC, as the operating system requires a lot more space: Instead of the usual 1 GB chip and Sugar, XP will come preloaded on a 2 GB.

Pricing will be an interesting topic. We have heard different numbers so far. Apparently, Windows XP is priced at $3 per machine. Add a few more dollars for the flash memory, which could be as little as $4 or as much as $11 per notebook, we heard. Considering the fact that the XO currently sells for $188, the Windows version should check in for about $200 – which means that it is about 50% cheaper than other potential competitors such as the Asus EeePC and the MSI Wind.