This morning’s Observer column

Much heat and little light were generated last week by the announcement, made jointly by Microsoft and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, that Windows XP is to be made available on the project’s ‘XO’ laptop, the little green machine aimed at the world’s poorest children. Next month, trials of Windows on the XO will begin in what Microsoft – in a telling phrase – describes as ‘key emerging markets’.

The news has been hailed as welcome pragmatism on the part of Nicholas Negroponte, the project’s director. But among some of his colleagues and in the wider Open Source community, it has also been excoriated as a betrayal. Which view is correct? Both…