Saturday, May 24, 2008

Microsoft needed to kill OLPC

the story that made everyone scratch their head:
Microsoft to Limit Capabilities of Cheap Laptops May 9 2008

some good speculations:
Why is Microsoft underpowering One Laptop Per Child? May 13 2008

and then the final solution - use the sledge hammer to stamp out the competition:
Windows XP on the XO Laptop - Microsoft Buys Out OLPC May 15 2008
so i thought to myself and wondered about the whole low-end requirements. you should already know about where i stand in microsoft dictating the direction of any hardware design -- and they need to stay out of the way from what the PC manufacturers want to do.

at first, i thought the low-end PC requirements was to create such an unwanted experience that it would kill itself. but linux can run on very slim resources. i still run two ancient 300MHz sony vaio laptops who are notorious for not following using alternative port values on some common IO devices.

but i really think, IMHO, it's basically down to these two points:

1) when the ASUS eeepc (3E PC) laptops were coming out with larger hard drives on linux (20GB) versus the window (12GB) version (eee 900 series), the add-on perks gave the perception of what's a better value with a hard tangible product on a system that provided basically the same functionalities. this made the choice of what OS running on it a secondary thought.

2) and i believe this is ultimately the main reason why microsoft want XP or what ever else they can put on a computer, on any computer; to get a person familiar with an OS where they will learn usability habits. this is one major sticking point i run into all the time when trying to teach/help people on how to use/fix computers. after someone learns a pretty complex behavior, they tend to stick to it and refuse to change in fear of learning more complex routines. that is, until they find something else that's easier to use.

i can't tell you how many people i know who switched to MACs and completely forget how to use a windows box in less than 4 months (shortcut, hot keys, where things are located, etc. -- usability).

but if you ask me, microsoft has also done a fine job doing this themselves by moving all of the configuration panels to who-knows-where-it-didn't-make-sense on their latest vista product. this basically required any one who knew anything from NT up to XP in a production house to re-learn all the little nuance again. not to mention the fact that it was also a huge problem integrating shared networks with vista and XP without upgrading all kinds of servers to make it vista aware.

you might as well get a MAC if you're going to re-learn some new system. that platform is by far the most user friendly, graphical eye pleasing and the most intuitive computer to use. i've been recommending that to everyone i know. disclaimer: i don't own any MACs, i've just used a lot of them. and i only build linux and bsd boxes.

i command line tools.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

ASUS Eee box
1.6GHz Intel Atom processor
2GB of memory
250GB of storage

regarding the bsd mascot: