|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] OLPC MS Spin
One Laptop Per Child News Your independent source for news, information,
commentary, and discussion of One Laptop Per Child's "$100 laptop"
computer, the OLPC Children's Machine XO, developed by MIT Media Lab
co-founder Nicholas Negroponte. Did Microsoft Fake XP on XO Press Media?!
Posted on June 20, 2008 by Wayan Vota in Sales Talk: Microsoft
Do you remember all the hoopla around the XP on the XO announcement in
May? Where Microsoft gave us a press release, blog post, and a video, all
announcing Windows XP for the XO laptop. Well, thanks to the sleuths on
OLPC News Forum it looks like Microsoft may have faked two of the three.
faked xp image XP on XO Photoshopped?
First, let's look at the official press release photograph showing XP
on the XO. Now, take a very, very close look. Do you see what teapot sees?
The image is definitely an overlay -- lower corners obscure the screen
border, and black areas around the screen are nowhere to be found.
However diagonal graininess of the blue background seems to suggest
that it may be taken on XO or XO emulator, and pasted to compensate
for camera's contrast/dynamic range. Pretty strange considering that
XO screen is not particularly bright or glossy.
If you look at the photo on James U's blog post, you can really tell the
difference - his image has the XP screen looking way more natural. And
if that were the only trespass, who really cares, eh? Everyone Photoshops.
Yet, its not. Just take a close look at the Microsoft XP on XO video:
Now re-watch that video, closely, and pay attention to the background
and the details of Bohdan Raciborski's actions. Previously, we knew
there was some time-shifting going on when Doug noticed subtle changes
in previous comments:
The other observation is that this "video" is a very well done
production and something done over a period of time and not likely
a short period of time.
I say this because if you look at the section where he does the
video capture, the recorded video of him waving does not have the
poster on the wall behind him. The "live" shot where he waves his
hand does have the poster behind him.
But recently, we've had a bit more analysis of the video, and the results
may surprise you. After a close inspection, Anna has a startling opinion:
At the very least, the Windows Movie Maker thing was staged or
faked. My BF has an XP machine, and being an A/V tech, was kinda
curious. Recording video with Windows Movie Maker doesn't work like
that. And it's out of order. Notice how the clip is at the bottom
left of the screen the entire time and then disappears when it's
time to "save" it.
In addition, the audio doesn't seem to match the wave patterns in
the audio record. If it really played off the XO, I've never heard
the XO speakers sound that good.
Now how could Microsoft faked such a video? Let's have Anna explain
To spell it out, I'm bringing up the possibility that they
captured the output from a regular XP machine to a video file
and played it back on the XO to produce a carefully choreographed
demonstration. Yeah, I know it sounds like a bizarre conspiracy
Or does it? Its not like Microsoft hasn't faked video before. They
were famously caught trying to use "massaged" videos in their anti-trust
Netscape case with the Department of Justice. And in this case, a massaged
video wouldn't be legally actionable, but did serve its PR purpose. That
is until eagle-eye Anna spotted one last, tell-tale trace of XP on the
Notice how the HDD light (the one on the far left) only comes on
during bootup and is off the entire time during the demonstration
EXCEPT when he flips the screen around to show off Internet Explorer
in book mode?
Huh. That's not how my XO hard disk light works.
Tags: $100 Laptop | Massaged Video | Microsoft | OLPC | OLPC News Forum |
Windows XO | XP on XO |
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Slashdot It Comments
I saw ap protype of XP running on the OLPC XO-1 hardware as long ago as
last December. It is not a simulation. As to how well it will run once
anti-virus software is turn on, that is another matter.
The speculation about performance is not really relevant. What makes
the XO an attractive platform for XP is that display, which makes for
a much better Windows experience than on most other UMPCs.
Posted by: walter bender on June 20, 2008
Right now, I don't know what to think. My main question is why would
they make a fake? What would there be to gain from all of that?
For now I'd rather watch and see what arguments come up here before I
draw my own conclusions. But this was still a very interesting article.
Posted by: Ryan on June 20, 2008
I can't see any advantage to producing a fake video misrepresenting that
XP runs on XO when it doesn't. From what I've seen here I wouldn't say
this is faked, just not as linear as it appears. Just like in a movie
the video was more like carefully produced scenes and a narration which
are not created in the order they appear. The details are left for your
mind to fill in.
The video shows a lot less than most people seems to interpret out of
it. For instance it shows wireless only as a list of APs and windows
showing as connected. You don't see or hear mention of mesh networking
there, or that the driver they created is finished. The ability to sustain
data transfer is implied as well.. but not shown. Time to login screen
is mentioned, as others pointed out, isn't really compatible to XOs time
to usable desktop. Windows shows the login screen before its completed
booting so a compatible time reference is avoided. If you stop letting
you mind see whats not really there and jump ahead to conclusions you
see a video with stock XP starting up.
I'm guessing they used demo video that was produced at several different
points in time (or development even) then combined them with the narration
to produce this video. This was probably the best way to insure the video
came out perfect (no human error, no blue screens, nothing unplanned)
without intending to actually deceive. They are a big professional
company with a great PR machine: they simply aren't going to release a
video that isn't carefully scripted, produced, edited, and timed. They
know to put the best foot forward by retouching photos in Photoshop and
selectively editing the video together.
And starting XP isn't hard even on a old, slow desktop with little RAM;
getting applications to run well on it is different. If you want to
see how well XP on XO really works you'd have to experience it in
person. The video says it is unmodified XP on a XO. That has many
potential problems not addressed in the video. As a quick example:
virtual memory page files on NAND or SD isn't going to be a good idea
even with wear leveling. Stock XP needs and was designed to use page
files, espically on lower ram machines. Windows applications tend to
make big assumptions, especially on minimum dimensions for dialog boxes,
that can be very hard to overcome. The OS may boot, but the applications
may never work quite right. I'd be curious to see how well it works with
anti virus and wifi enabled and usb in use... similar to what a normal
user would be using at a time. I think if MS really wants to put XP
on XO they should be modifying it to fit the hardware. If not the XO,
then at least that class of SDD, ultra small screen computers. There
are a lot of design decisions in those small laptops like the XO that
are contrary to what XP expects to be running on.
Posted by: Jeremy on June 20, 2008
If Microsoft wants to stop Linux from encroaching further on Windows
market share, making potential volume buyers believe that Windows on
XO will soon be available could be a tempting scheme. Like previous
releases of Windows, WinXO might be delayed many times, but as long as
potential volume buyers can be persuaded to wait (and not go with Linux),
Microsoft will accomplish its goal of stopping Linux.
Posted by: Thomas Wamm on June 20, 2008
I have never seen documentation saying what the left-side LED indicators
mean on the XO. My guess is that the leftmost ("lollipop") LED indicates
that WiFi is ON and connected (because it goes dark when I tell my XO
to disconnect from my wireless access point). And I guess that the next
leftmost LED indicator (" (o) ") means WiFi data transfer in progress. If
anyone knows for sure, please let us know so that we can accurately
interpret the MS WinXO demo video.
Posted by: Thomas Wamm on June 20, 2008
-at-thomas - the LED documentation is the
first/second hit on OLPC's wiki's google search:
Posted by: Martin on June 21, 2008
You really should pay even more careful attention. The poster is indeed
there during the video playback, it's just that the angle puts the poster
behind him, but you can catch brief glimpses of it around his shoulders.
Posted by: Nobody Real on June 22, 2008
Vaporware, cheaper to produce than real software and it is more effective
at crushing the competition.
Vaporware is one of M$'s best weapons, people think they will get
something great so they don't buy the competition's offering. If the M$
software really existed, they'd be disappointed with bugs, security
flaws and instability issues.
Posted by: McPop on June 22, 2008 Post a comment
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