Microsoft had planned to stop selling Windows XP ages ago. But netbooks have been largely responsible for keeping the operating system going long past its original expiration date. But that will all change in a few months. Microsoft is reminding us that Windows XP Home will no longer be available for pre-installation on netbooks come October 22, 2010.
Of course, Windows XP is a 10 year old operating system at this point, and it’s been mostly replaced by Windows Vista and then Windows 7. But Microsoft extended the life of Windows XP when netbooks started flooding the market in 2008, because Windows Vista wasn’t really designed to run on machines with slow processors and limited amounts of memory.
Windows 7, on the other hand, works just fine on most netbooks — even if the lower cost Windows 7 Starter Edition that ships with most netbooks includes some limitations such as the inability to change desktop backgrounds or use the Aero Glass visual effects.
Most netbooks available for purchase today do ship with Windows 7 Starter instead of Windows XP, but a handful of netbook makers are still shipping models with Windows XP. And if you want a netbook that doesn’t come with arbitrary restrictions imposed, you might want to grab one sooner rather than later. Or you know, you could just upgrade from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium or install an alternate operating system on your netbook.