MIAMI–As I predicted last week, Microsoft has decided to extend the life of Windows XP, although only for a limited class of machines.
Microsoft said on Thursday that it will continue to allow Windows XP Home edition to be sold for a class of computers it calls “ultra-low-cost PCs.” It’s a category that covers machines with slower processors, smaller screens, and in many cases flash memory for storage, rather than a traditional hard drive.
Microsoft will give PC makers the option of using Windows XP or Vista on ULCPC devices, said Michael Dix, general manager of Windows client marketing.
Still, the minimal hardware used in ULCPC systems might make Vista ill-suited to such a task. The decision to discontinue Windows XP might have driven even more device makers into the hands of Linux, hence the extension.
Overall, big-name computer makers are still scheduled to have to stop selling Windows XP for all other uses by the end of June. Mainstream technical support will continue to be available for Windows XP through April 2009, and more limited support will continue through April 2014.