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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Long live Windows XP!

For Windows loyalists, there's no doubt that the future is bright (optimistically speaking) and the future is Vista. However, for people who cannot let go of the ageing XP, they can expect support if they invest in an emerging, new class of mobile personal computers commonly known as ULCPC (Ultra Low-cost Personal Computers).

Microsoft announced the worldwide extension of the availability of Windows XP Home for ULCPCs. Windows XP Home for ULCPCs will be available until June 30, 2010, or for one year after general availability of the next version of Windows.

Microsoft had earlier announced that it would stop selling Windows XP completely by January 2009 (albeit postponing the stoppage by a year), and that sellers would stop bundling the old operating system with machines June onwards.

Conversely, it seems that Microsoft has realized the potential of the up-and-coming breed of ULCPCs, like the Eee PC, and has therefore decided to not withdraw the much-loved-by-some OS completely from the market. After all, it cannot allow people to have only the option of Linux on such PCs; customers loyal to the Windows brand are sure to follow.

And Microsoft cannot offer its high-configuration-hogging Vista OS for this segment because of obvious reasons, hence it has decided to stay and battle it out with Linux, which has been gaining a steady grip over the OS (Operating System) market slowly and steadily.

On the other hand, the OS business in emerging markets has been tricky for Microsoft. India being one of the top countries in such markets that has a majority of people who cannot yet seem to embrace the legality issues that encircle a pirated copy of an OS. For markets like ours, Microsoft has announced that computer makers could sell Windows XP Starter edition until June 2010.

Here's hoping that there are further reductions in the price of this one, so our countrymen can make a wilful transition to the legal software route.

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