updated 03:10 pm EDT, Tue June 3, 2008
MS Keeps Win XP for Nettop
Microsoft today acceded to demands and said it would continue support for Windows XP on "nettops," a term coined by Intel that describes any very low-cost, small desktop designed for Internet access, including the Eee Box. The move is credited to the success of a plan to extend XP for micro notebooks such as the ASUS Eee PC. Users want the familiarity of Windows on these systems or an easier path for those new to computers, Microsoft claims, alluding to a tendency for some budget systems to ship with Linux to lower the price.
The Windows developer doesn't say how long it expects the extension to continue but set a June 2010 limit on the extension of XP sales for portables. The guidelines set certain maximum specifications for systems to qualify for the extension and will likely phase out most offerings as performance improves over time.
Microsoft's past extension was widely believed to in part be a response to a backlash against its June 2008 cut-off date for normal sales of Windows XP, which in turn was an extension after businesses and some PC vendors complained about a lack of full support for Windows Vista from crucial applications and hardware. Most of the lowest-cost computers are incapable of supporting Vista Home Premium's extra visual effects and often run slowly due to limits on their processor performance and maximum memory.