The project itself is highly admirable, as its goal is to connect kids to a world that expands their horizons and hopefully leads some countries from destitute status to growing, civil communities that are empowered by the knowledge that lives on the internet every day, as well as connecting citizens to one another and students with much-needed tools.
In the past, Microsoft has shunned the project, probably since it was slated to use a generic Linux operating system that provides no revenue to anyone -- not exactly a business Microsoft wants to be in. However, it also takes future customers away from Microsoft's revenue prospects in developing countries where PCs may pave the way for computer industry growth in the future. Talk about a dilemma.
This is not the first time we've heard about Windows being installed on a $100 laptop. However, would Microsoft be shooting itself in the foot by having even a bare-bones version of Windows Vista on such an inexpensive piece of hardware?
Enter the older Windows XP operating system. Although all sales and development resources are now focused on Windows Vista, the older Windows XP operating system still exists in huge numbers globally, and will for some time. According to Microsoft, the company is "spending a nontrivial amount of money on it" in reference to tweaking the older Windows XP system to meet the stripped-down needs of this entry-level laptop meant for developing nations.
If Microsoft can either give away a bare-bones version of Windows XP to fit the needs of this system (or make a nominal license fee on each copy of Windows XP sold for these systems), the strategy would be sound. And, it would introduce the Windows environment to a whole new universe, many of whom would become lifelong Windows users like the majority of the PC customer base worldwide. Perhaps that is just what Microsoft wants.