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XP extended to at least 2010 on Asus EEE style computers

Michael Dix’s announcement on Thursday that Microsoft would now offer Windows XP Home until at least June 30th 2010 tells us one thing: the Redmond giant is getting more sensitive to its little customers.

The message behind the April 3rd statement seems clear: Microsoft is nervous of losing a whole market to Linux and Google-apps-cloud-style computing. That market is what Dix called the ULCPC (Ultra Low Cost Personal Computer), which includes the amazingly popular Linux-powered Asus EEE, Everex Cloudbook and forthcoming models rumoured to be on the way from Acer and HP amongst others.

In the past I think Microsoft might have just said, ‘our current platform is Vista, make your hardware better‘. However on this occasion market forces led to the creation of a more viable option. Most EEE buyers are probably happy with the price/power/battery trade-off in the unit. I know I am. Would I pay another few hundred bucks for a same size, same screened EEE with enough power to run Vista? No way.

So Microsoft will now continue offering XP Home to OEMs of ULCPCs for the next few years. Good decision, and well done for responding to customer opinion. Dix said there is no intention to extend the sales period similarly for other XP versions. In any case, Vista sales have just reached one hundred million licenses so I would not expect the other versions to get a further extension.

Microsoft’s statement was swiftly followed by Asus announcing that they would start selling an XP-powered EEE on April 9th, priced at $400. The specs are believed to be identical to the existing 4G model, only this time some of the nice bits, such as the webcam, are more likely to work out of the box with applications like Skype. According to Laptop Magazine, XP boots in 40 secs on the EEE. That’s pretty quick for XP. Asus is going to sell bucketloads of these.

A few weeks ago Microsoft reinstated support for certain legacy file formats in Office 2007, following requests from the user community. I would expect that users of those legacy formats (mainly Office 97) are already strong candidates to move to OpenOffice or Google Docs. Perhaps this reversal from Redmond might keep them on side for a little longer.

Is there a trend emerging here? Perhaps the giant is feeling like some dwarf’s are getting taller.

Neil Berman


Apr 6, 2008 - Posted by | Analysis, Computing, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile, News, Software | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hi, Neil

    How are you?

    I’m glad I found your blog. Asus EEE has only 4GB. It’s not much of a notebook, imo. It depends on how one uses it. As a network terminal, its probably decent.


    Comment by a.i. editor | Apr 14, 2008 | Reply

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