Will the 'netbook' save Windows XP?

Written by Tim Smalley

March 26, 2008 // 2:07 p.m.

Tags: #anand #asus #chandrasekher #cost #device #eee #feature #growth #internet #linux #low #market #mid #mobile #netbook #nettop #pc #ready #reduced #windows #xp

With the impending flood of low-cost, fully web capable PCs—to compete with the Asus Eee PC—coming to market later this year, it’s possible that Microsoft will extend the deadline for the discontinuation of Windows XP—even though the company publically sticks to its already-revised June deadline.

I’m sure that Microsoft is hoping that the release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will push more end users to upgrade to the company’s latest operating system. However, the market of low-cost ‘netbooks’ and ‘nettops’ is expanding fast and is a massive growth opportunity for the many Linux distributions on the market because these machines aren’t fast enough to run Windows Vista—never mind delivering an acceptable computing experience.

What’s more, according to CNet blogger Ina Fried, Microsoft had to do a lot of work to get Windows XP on the Eee PC.

With the impending flood of releases into this new class of devices—along with the introduction of the Mobile Internet Device later this year—Intel in particular has been very clear in its intentions to push Linux on these new devices.

We recently talked to Anand Chandrasehker, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Ultra Mobility Group at Intel, where he explained that Intel was keen to drive innovation in these new markets and an open source software platform like Linux is ideal in that respect.

And, from Microsoft’s perspective, it needs to continue pushing Windows XP in order to compete with Linux in this market as Windows XP Starter Edition—a cut-down version of the popular OS designed for emerging markets—is not feature-rich enough to compete with the open source alternatives.

Do you think the company will extend Windows XP’s deadline even further and, more to the point, will the OS still be available on full-featured systems? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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