Microsoft extends support for Windows XP
Microsoft has announced that it will not be taking its Windows XP operating system completely off the market this summer, as it had planned. The company has announced that the makers of ultra-low-cost PCs can still install Windows XP Home on their computers until June 2010, or until a year after the presentation of the coming version 7 of Windows.
Microsoft may have taken this step in order to head off further penetration of the cheap laptop market by Linux, the free operating system. After the success achieved by Asus with its Eee PC laptop, some other manufacturers are planning to produce similar devices. Intel itself had criticised its partner Microsoft for not having produced a suitably adapted version of Windows for these small machines. Dadi Perlmutter, head of the Intel Mobility Group, said Microsoft Windows was not optimal for small mobile devices. Whether simply extending the availability of Windows XP for these systems will calm the critics remains to be seen; Windows Vista is certainly not suitable for this device class, as Microsoft has probably also had to recognise.
Microsoft had originally planned to stop providing Windows XP in January 2008, then in autumn last year it extended that date to 30 June 2008. Until then, PC manufacturers can ship computers with Windows XP instead of Vista. Now Michael Dix, responsible for Windows Client product management, has claimed that makers of the ultra-low cost PCs had told Microsoft that Windows was the preferred operating system. Asus has until now been betting on Linux for its EeePC. Intel offers its Classmate PC with Linux and Windows, but is actively involved in the further development of moblin, a mobile Linux.