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Could Windows XP get another stay of execution?

Eee XPCome June, computer makers are supposed to stop offering Windows XP on prebuilt systems. Microsoft will continue to support the operating system for a while, but the goal is to phase XP out and phase Vista in. But Microsoft has already extended XP's lifetime due to widespread concerns over Windows Vista.

CNet has an interesting article suggesting that Microsoft could give Windows XP another extension. Why? Because of the Eee PC, XO Laptop, Everex Cloudbook, and other low cost ultraportable laptop computers. Hundreds of thousands of these low cost notebooks have been sold over the past few months, and millions could be sold by the end of the year.

Right now, many of these computers are running Linux because it's cheap and it functions well on slower computers with tiny amounts of storage. There's no way you could cram Windows Vista onto most of these machines. But if Microsoft wants to avoid a world where computer users start to think of Linux as a viable alternative to Windows, the company needs to provide software that will run on these machines. And Windows XP fits the bill. Asus already ships a Windows driver disc with the Eee PC, and plans to release a model preloaded with Windows XP in the next few months. But what happens if Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows XP just as computer makers start to ramp up production of machines that are incapable of running Vista?

So the more we think about it, the more we agree with CNet. Either Microsoft will extend the life cycle for Windows XP again, or it will release a custom build of Windows 7 optimized for devices with slow processors, 512MB of RAM or less, and 2GB of storage. Something tells us Microsoft's going to go with option

Tags: cloudbook, eee-pc, olpc, osupdates, windows-xo, xo-laptop, xp