updated 04:05 pm EDT, Fri October 24, 2008
Kid picks Linux XO laptop
A recently performed informal experiment saw an eight-year-old American student pick the Linux version of the XO laptop over the Windows XP version. The eight-year-old, representative of the target audience for the educational notebook, spent an afternoon exploring each notebook, finally picking the Linux version mostly because it had more software that was not yet explored. Each iteration had its pros and cons, however, including the Linux version's slower web browsing and more complicated user interface, at least to those used a Windows interface.
The Microsoft XP version, on the other hand, while retaining some of the features found on the original Linux model, including the scratch pad, game controller and built-in camera, is missing the majority of the kid-oriented Sugar OS shell and associated educational games, programming tools and other software. Microsoft does offer the benefit of offering its Office suite of products, as well as other educational programs written for the OS, though those may appeal to older kids.
Still, the author concludes either XO notebook could be a great educational aid if used properly in the schoolroom. There are arguments in the industry and from the governments in developing countries where most of the XO laptops are used or heading for and against the use of either operating system, and the split is likely why a dual-boot version of the XO laptop is being developed. [via CNET]