earlier this morning that Microsoft
is in a bit of a pickle with regards to end-of-sale date for Windows XP and
of low-cost sub-notebooks. Microsoft needs an operating system to combat
the various iterations of Linux that come pre-installed on these machines and
Windows Vista won't suffice given current hardware requirements.
Sources close to Microsoft are now stating that the company
is expected to extend the
availability of Windows XP specifically for low-cost notebooks (i.e., Eee
PC, CloudBook, etc.). Although Microsoft declined to comment on the report, the
sources said that the announcement could come as early as this week during the
Intel Developer Forum (IDF) which is taking place in Shanghai.
An announcement at IDF would make perfect sense as the show
is a showcase for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and notebooks using Intel's
new Atom processors. Intel's Atom processors are targeted at MIDs,
sub-notebooks and even low-end desktop machines.
Already on display at IDF are a number of Atom-based
sub-notebooks from a little-known company, Thinno. Thinno displayed two
notebooks -- one of which appears to have a 7" screen, while the other
looks like an 8.9" unit -- at the show. The former was running Windows XP
while the latter is said to be running Red Hat Linux.
Both machines were equipped with 1.6GHz Intel Atom
processors and 512MB of memory. Another, nameless Atom-based machine was also
captured by Register Hardware running
If an XP announcement is indeed coming later this week, it
appears that Microsoft will dodge a bullet when it comes to the exploding
low-end, sub-notebook market.