But Microsoft general manager James Utzschneider argues that making the XO laptop compatible with Windows XP would give students in poor countries access to "tens of thousands of existing educational applications written for Windows."
That sounds like a reasonable point -- after all, there's not many Linux apps out there aimed at the K-12 market, in any language.
Utzschneider says a shrunken version of Windows XP could potentially run on 2 Gbytes of flash memory. The XO, however, can only hold 1 Gbyte. As a result, Microsoft wants the XO's designers to add a slot through which more memory can be added via a Secure Digital (SD) card.
So, what do you think? Would kids in the developing world be better off with a Linux-based system that goes for under $200?
Or, is it better to equip them with technology from a major vendor that's supported by an ecosystem of thousands of application developers -- even if that means the system might cost a bit more?
You can weigh in below with your thoughts.