Microsoft Extends XP on Ultra Low Cost Systems

Dennis Faas's picture

Not so long ago (April, in fact), Microsoft revealed it would be extending its support of the Windows XP operating system to ultra low-cost PCs (ULCPCs) for a year after the release of the next Windows (currently named Windows 7). Last week, Microsoft followed up that announcement with news it would be extending the same support to Nettops, or very, very cheap desktops.

Microsoft's announcement at Computex marks another potential black eye for Windows Vista. It could, and perhaps should lead many analysts to speculate that Microsoft is growing increasingly prepared to quietly skip its latest operating system.

Corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer Division for Microsoft Steven Guggenheimer may have admitted that something is awry, if only in slighting different phrasing. He recently disclosed in a press release that "Customers and partners have made it clear to us that they want Windows on their netbooks and nettops. We are committed to providing Windows solutions for these devices, helping to ensure a high-quality experience for both our partners and customers."

In other words, Windows in any form is fine, so long as it's still Microsoft. Still, doesn't bode well for recent projects.  (Source:

Is this news irrelevant? Are Third Worlders and students the only people that are buying $200 PCs?

It doesn't appear so. In a statement, Microsoft revealed that it "is working with more than 20 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Acer Inc., ASUSTek Computer Inc., BenQ Corp., Dell Inc., First International Computer Inc., Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd., HP, Inventec Corp., Lenovo, Medion AG, Micro-Star International Co., Positivo Informatica, Pegatron Corp., Quanta Computer Inc. and Wistron Corp. to deliver Windows-based offerings for consumers." (Source:

Few of those big names would jump aboard a project that featured only minimal growth potential.

The moral of the story? Perhaps, that Vista has lost on one more battleground.

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