Windows XP Netbook Days Are Numbered, Nearing End

Dennis Faas's picture

One of the major concerns about the launch of Windows 7 was that the new operating system would be too bulky for a very popular kind of PC: the netbook. The alternative was the decade-old Windows XP, but that option won't be around come the end of October, 2010.

In a recent statement, Microsoft officials noted the deadline date for OEMs to cut off the loading of Windows XP on new netbooks: October 22, 2010, one year to the day since the launch of Windows 7.

"OEMs will no longer be able to pre-install Windows XP Home on new netbook PCs," Microsoft said. (Source:

Performance, Cost Concerns Aroused

It's actually been a year and a half since Microsoft first made this date known. Back then, there was a lot of worry that Windows 7's requirements would be too steep for netbooks, the tiny 8.9-inch to 12-inch computers of incredibly lightweight design (and primarily meant for surfing the web and word processing).

In addition, many worried that including Windows 7 on netbooks would force up their price, defeating one of the main draws of the technology. Put it this way: it costs OEMs approximately $15 for a copy of Windows XP. By contrast, Windows 7 runs almost $50. There's little doubt that this price will be passed on from the OEM to the consumer.

Microsoft Proves Worriers Wrong

Thankfully, netbook prices have not increased dramatically since 2008, when Microsoft announced the Windows XP cutoff. At the same time, they've become more powerful, meaning a slimmed-down version of Windows 7 runs comfortably.

OEMs have taken notice of the positive trend, and according to a recent NPD Retail Tracking Service report, by April of this year 81 per cent of all netbooks sold in the U.S. had Windows 7 preinstalled. (Source:

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