Boingboing is reporting that Microsoft is forcing OEMs into using artificially low hardware specifications. Even if you erroneously believe that OLPC is simply a matter of price tag, Microsoft's actions are puzzling, to say the least. Well, as long as you imagine that Microsoft is in it for the kids.
As Cory Doctorow notes:Microsoft is trying to distort the market for cheap, tiny laptops by setting up artificial incentives to manufacturers to limit the power and capability of their lowest-cost units -- even if a vendor can figure out how to put more storage, a bigger screen, or a touchscreen into its machines, Microsoft doesn't want it there, and they'll punish any vendor that tries by refusing to license XP Home Edition on the same preferential terms that lower-spec machines get.
Why would Microsoft do this? More pertinently, why would OLPC sell out its ideals? IDG News Service suggests that Microsoft is trying to prevent cannibalization of its mainstream desktop market. That is an understandable goal, but not necessarily a laudable one given Microsoft's alleged intention to play fair with OLPC. I suspect something more is involved here.… Read more