Last December, we reported that Microsoft had teamed up with the One Laptop Per Child project, and that the two planned to release a Windows-powered version of the XO "$100 laptop" this year. According to Engadget, Microsoft's task is now complete, and Windows XP is up and running on the XO.
Getting Windows to run on the laptop was no small task. Microsoft reportedly spent about a year on the project, and it had to use a 2GB SD memory card to contain the operating system as well as write custom drivers and a custom BIOS. The development team in charge of the project was able to squeeze Windows XP onto the XO's spartan hardware without removing any components, however, and XP-based XOs boot in only 50 secondsâ€”quicker than with the default Linux OS, Microsoft claims.
You can check out a video of the Windows-powered OLPC in action right here on YouTube. In the video, Microsoft's Bohdan Raciborski talks a little bit about the port and shows how one can accomplish some typical tasks on the machine. Those tasks include running Office 2003, recording audio with the built-in Windows utility, recording a video clip from the OLPC's built-in camera using Windows Movie Maker, and playing back "high bitrate" video in full-screen mode with no (apparent) dropped frames.
Windows-powered XO laptops are officially coming out in August or September. They'll be hitting some countries ahead of schedule as early as next month, though.