Dual-boot OLPC laptop on the way

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The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) founder Nicholas Negroponte has hinted that a dual boot version of the XO Laptop could be on its way. Speaking to the IDG News Service yesterday, the OLPC is working with Microsoft on a version of the laptop that is capable of booting either Linux – the current OS – or Windows.

CNET’s Tom Krazit has written that it appears to be a similar technique like Apple’s Boot Camp; where it does not provide true virtualisation but the ability to boot to either operating system depending on the applications.

This new move could address some of the reasons have gone to Intel’s Classmate, which can run either Linux or Windows. The Classmate PC, however, does not have any dual-boot functionality.

Microsoft and the OLPC have been talking for months about getting Windows to run on the XO laptop, but until now the discussion had indicated that the project would result into two different laptops. A dual-boot XO laptop would be a different concept; as it it requires additional power, storage, memory or all three. This may result in a price hike from the original XO.

This comes after a “divorce” between the OLPC and Intel, caused by Intel’s Classmate PC. The OLPC wanted Intel to stop selling the Classmate PC in areas which the OLPC is being promoted.

Microsoft also have a low-cost Windows operating system for developing countries. Called the Windows Starter Edition, it cannot be sold in developed nations like the United States and Australia.

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