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Mark Light and Bohdan Raciborski: Windows XP on Flash-Based Ultra Low Cost PCs

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How does Windows perform on ultra low cost PCs with less than 2GB of storage? Mark Light and Bohdan Raciborski from the Unlimited Potential Group discuss the challenges and opportunities with flash-based storage and getting Windows XP and Office 2003 up and running—surprisingly quickly—on this new class of devices, including the Asus Eee PC. Today Microsoft also released design guidelines to help hardware manufacturers enable a quality Windows experience for this emerging class of low cost computing machines that will help to democratize personal computing by providing a powerful and full version Windows-powered device for low income markets.

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    The Discussion

    • Chadk
      Thats awesome. I would so much buy a such Asus eeepc just for the toy value to be able to surf the web without having to find my bulky laptop.
    • Yankee
      Nice, I want that! Big Smile
    • littleguru
      I find 200 MB for own data very little, if not saying: not enough... especially if somebody would like to install an Express Edition to start with programming s/he will run out of space VERY fast!

      People in the emerging markets should get in touch with coding not only consuming!
    • CKurt

      Very nice, but still I wondered. How many RAM do these machines have and so are they working on consuming less ram ?

      If they are, why don't they update very XP version out there so it gennerally uses les RAM so more is free for app's en users to use.

      Al they have taked about was Storage Space, not RAM...

      Anybody ?

    • Xaero_​Vincent
      My guess is after a SSD upgrade, Windows XP runs OK on these machines because the first computers pre-installed with Windows XP were released in 2001. Average machines of that time period had similar performance specs to these low-powered systems.

      Remember Windows XP's minimum system requirements are only a 233 MHz CPU with 64 MB RAM.
    • Chadk
      Yeah, i still remember running XP on 333mhz and 128mb ram. Epic times.
    • intelman
      Honestly, Windows Vista should have been designed to run on that kind of "low power" laptop. I'd like to see Windows 7 be able to do it.

      But back on topic, very neat video. I want to see more innovation from the computer manufactures. This is Microsoft's biggest advantage, they have many OEMs (unlike Apple). I blame them for a lot of bad rep PCs get. We must do our best to encourage crazy things like this.
    • Kanube
      I think its a great idea - as long as it supports usb (which I'm sure it does) if you need more storage, just pop a 16 GB flash drive in the side, or external hard drive, or connect to a NAS, etc., etc.  There's even online storage available.

      Seriously, there are a lot of folks who are not 'power users' and do things like install development environments or load up on songs (storing on the local hard drive isn't a good idea anyway), or tons of programs or documents that would need so much storage.  There are lots of folks who just surf the web and read their online email.  This machine would be sufficient for that. 
    • Tzim
      I'm an happy user of the Asus EEE PC (the 4G SSD version).

      I replaced the 512MB RAM stick by an 1GB one.

      I successfully installed windows XP Pro via the network. I used the third party nLite tool to fully slip-stream and integrate drivers. nLite also permit to remove some components that I don't use (mostly the movie maker). The Asus EEE PC uses ATA interface for it's SSD drive, so windows installs just as any computer.

      I'm interested in the OEM tools mentionned in the video. As windows take about 1GB by itself on the SSD drive. Are they publicly avaliable ?

      For now almost every standard windows apps works as on every windows machine, but the screen resolution (800x480) will prevent some apps to run (and you may encounter some problems viewing some buttons on certains dialogs boxes).
    • della00
      I am disappointed there was no mention of the OLPC XO laptop.
    • gillsr
      There are also other up and coming storage media that you don't really see talked about that are starting to come through like MRAM that essentially uses tiny magnets (like core memory) it has unlimited write cycles and is almost as fast as SRAM and could in future be as small as SRAM cells. This then makes you start to wonder where RAM begins and mass storage starts... Could be great for these devices running a 64 bit OS with converged memory and storage of many gigabytes. (See WikiP for more upcoming NVRAM types: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-volatile_memory)

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