Microsoft said Wednesday that it is working to develop a version of XP that can run on computers without a hard drive, including the XO computer from One Laptop Per Child.
In a statement, Microsoft said that it will start "limited field trials" of XP running on the OLPC computer in January. If all goes well, Microsoft said it could have XP running on the XO by the second half of next year. However, it cautioned folks in North America, particularly those taking part in the Give One, Get One program, that it has no plans to offer that version of XP to folks in the U.S. or Canada.
"As part of Microsoft Corp.'s Unlimited Potential effort to bring the benefits of technology to the next 5 billion people by transforming education, fostering local innovation, and enabling jobs and opportunity, Microsoft today announced plans to further expand flash-based Windows XP support for low-cost hardware computing devices," the company said in the statement. Microsoft said it will "publish formal design guidelines early next year that will assist flash-based device manufacturers in designing machines that enable a high-quality Windows experience."
Microsoft said that governments that are considering buying the XO laptops should give the software maker a call to learn more about when the new version of XP might be ready, how much it will cost, etc.
I'm talking with someone from Microsoft in a few minutes and hope to have more details.