If you have been wondering how companies like MSI can offer Windows XP on low-cost desktops given that support is supposed to end on June 30 of this year, rest assured that there is an easy answer. Microsoft announced today that it would extend the life of Windows XP Home edition to include Nettop devices. Microsoft had previously extended the life of Windows XP to low-cost notebooks (sometimes called Ultra-Low-Cost PCs, ULCPCs, or Netbooks) like the Asus Eee and the MSI Wind. Nettop devices are the desktop equivalent of Netbooks.
Customers are asking for Windows on these devices because the experience is familiar to existing PC users and easy to learn for customers who are new to computing. Customers want to be able to take advantage of the wide range of applications, devices and online experiences supported by Windows today. Microsoft partners also appreciate Windows-based solutions for these computers because they already know how to build and support high-quality systems that are powered by Windows.
Microsoft did not indicate how long this extension will last but it’s likely to run to June 30th, 2010 like the one for Netbooks.
More than 20 OEMs including Asus, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Quanta among others, are now working with Microsoft on a variety of Netbooks and Nettops.
With the success of these devices and the sluggish performance of Vista on them, Microsoft really had no choice but to extend the life of Windows XP or risk seeing Linux gain more acceptance as an alternative operating system.