chairman of OLPC, says the non-profit
organization is "almost committed" to using ARM chips in XO-2 laptops
which are slated for release in 18 months.
The current XO-1 units ship with AMD Geode x86 CPUs, but OLPC is
looking to improve battery life on the next generation, at the cost of
x86 compatibility issues.
"Our current XO-1 uses an average of 5 watts of power, and while
most people think that's amazingly low, we think it's our biggest
problem," says Ed McNierney,
chief technology officer at OLPC.
However, ARM chips can't run a full version of Windows, and are limited
to Mobile editions of Redmond's OS. OLPC is looking into ways of
offering a dual-boot option for its users, enabling them to choose
between Linux or Windows.
"We are urging Microsoft to make Windows, not Windows
Mobile, available on the Arm," says Negroponte. He claims OLPC is in
talks with Microsoft to develop a full version Windows OS specially for
the XO-2. Negroponte says a lot could change in regard to Microsoft and
ARM support, as the launch is still 18 months away.
Microsoft did not comment the issue.