With the launch of Windows Vista at the beginning of 2007, Microsoft forced a changing of the guards in the operating system world. While the company was gung-ho about their new version of Windows, millions of XP users were not ready to let go of their tried and true OS for one that was shown to decrease performance and increase blood pressure. Perhaps even more frustrating for XP users was the announcement that Microsoft would cease to sell the aging operating system in January of 2008. Hesitation eventually turned into the realization that Windows Vista simply would not run on a large percentage of PCs due to its heavy resource demands. This severely limited Vista’s audience and was probably one of the issues that caused Microsoft to push back XP’s end of sale date to June 30, 2008.
Now, with low-cost, low-performance portable PCs like the ASUS Eee PC selling thousands of units all over the world, Microsoft has been faced with quite a dilemma: extend the life of Windows XP, or miss out on the vast low-cost PC market. DailyTech is reporting that Microsoft has chosen option number one, and will continue selling Windows XP Home into 2010. Microsoft is not the only company that will benefit from this decision; the manufacturers of these ultra-low-cost PCs will likely reach a broader audience thanks to the familiarity and compatibility that Windows XP will bring to their products.
Other than the ASUS Eee PC, which just saw its most recent incarnation become available at Best Buy stores nationwide, there are several other tiny notebooks currently breaking into the market, including the Everex CloudBook Max, ECS G10IL, and Intel’s 2nd generation Classmate PC. The Windows XP sales extension will not include Windows XP Professional, 64-bit, or Media Center Edition.