OLPC project executive change, gets cozy with Windows and the "Egypt excuse"

There are lots of changes at the OLPC project lately. A top executive shakeup has happened, and it seems to coincide with a ship in direction from being Open Source to allowing Windows as an alternative.

Walter Bender, President of Software and Content for the OLPC was first sidelined then resigned from the project.

Negroponte, founder of the OLPC project later decried Open Source Fundamentalists, and now the organization has a new CEO.

Now, Egypt is quoted as an example of the need to run Windows As reported in Technology Review:

One reason for the slow uptake, Negroponte says, is that the existing computer systems of some government and educational bureaucracies around the world run on Windows. And in some countries, including Egypt, he says, the lack of Windows compatibility stalled interest. "When I went to Egypt for the first time, I met separately with the minister of communications, minister of education, minister of science and technology, and the prime minister, and each one of them, within the first three sentences, said, 'Can you run Windows?'" Negroponte says.

One future possibility is a "dual-boot" version of the OLPC machine, in which either Windows or Linux can be launched at start-up. Activating the Windows option, however, would likely require OLPC's customers to pay Microsoft a licensing fee of a few dollars per machine. If such a scheme were to materialize, Negroponte says, "I expect we will do a massive rollout in Egypt."

Well Mr. Negroponte, we have to remember that Egypt is not the entire world, developed or under-developed. We also have to note that they could be asking for something because it is the only thing they know exist in their minds.  We should also not exclude Microsoft's direct influence, with Bill Gates meeting heads of states one on one over the years.

Bad day to be an Egyptian in Open Source ...