Microsoft is giving Windows XP another stay of execution. The operating system was supposed to have been phased out by now, but since Windows Vista doesn’t run well on netbooks, and since netbooks are the fastest growing segment of the computer industry, Microsoft has been allowing mini-laptop makers to load the 8 year old operating system on computers that meet certain requirements (small screens and hard drives, slow processors, etc).

And even though Windows 7 is designed from the ground up to perform well on systems with limited resources like netbooks, Microsoft VP Mike Nash recently said that companies will be able to preinstall Windows XP on netbooks for another 12 months after Windows 7 is released.

In other words, if Windows 7 is made available later this year, you’ll still be able to pick up a netbook running XP well into 2010. That creates an interesting situation where you’ll be able to purchase retail licenses for Windows 7 and Vista, and pick up a computer preloaded with XP all in the same shopping trip. Heck, you could throw a Windows Mobile phone into your cart while you’re at it and walk away with four different devices running four different Microsoft operating systems. Oh yeah, there’s also Windows Home Server…

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16 replies on “Windows XP: The netbook OS that will not die”

  1. does anyone knoww where i can find a netbook with windows 7 and is not to expensive. my daughter has been bugging me about it and i cant seem to find it. please help

  2. However it is still hard to make a choice, the humble XP or the new arrival Windows 7. I’m using XP now, both on PC and netbook. But honestly, I’d be pleased to give the Windows 7 a try to run on my netbook. I’d love to try something new, although sometimes I have to face the fact that it is not worth trying.

  3. Coincidentally, I just installed XP Pro on an elderly Dell which had an old, beatup Win 2K install on it, and it ran very well indeed. I initially tried Xubuntu, but I was disappointed by how slow and laggy it was. Too bad, really, as the person the PC was for would certainly have been happy enough with it.

  4. I think this annoucement pretty much sums up some important questions.

    It is a safe bet that Microsoft got the word from the OEMs and that few OEMs started an intent to shift many of their existing lines to Windows 7. That says they either don’t believe 7 will drive enough sales to justify the effort to retool their image and remainder the existing XP units in the pipeline or they don’t think it will perform better than XP on the existing hardware. Considering it would either be 7 Starter or a price increase I’d bet they figured. rightly, that XP will sell better than Starter or a price increase.

    The big question comes as new models are introduced after 7. If they also stick with XP we can expect the ‘deadline’ for ending XP licensing to move again. Can they really drop a product that is still selling with such gusto?

  5. The reason that the Windows saga goes on and on is that Microsoft has to continue to protect its massive Windows income stream.

    Microsoft can’t accept that the average computer user wants nothing more from an operating system than for it to stay the hell out of the way.

    Nobody buys a computer to enjoy an operating system. Smooth running application programs are what interests computer users.

  6. I think we can all agree that Microsoft had no idea, no roadmap, making it up as they go along. Of course, this is the company that was surprised with that internet thing taking off, so it shoukldnt be a surprise.

    I was always too lazy to try Linux but with teh Dell Mini I figured why not?
    300$ and if I really hate it, Ill just put XP on it.
    6 months later and I have become a Linux fan. I discovered that I didnt hate Linux as much as I hated Gnome desktop and am running Mandriva (which I got to boot from a USB stick following online instructions and let me say the KDE4.22 desktop is getting a lot of long looks from people around.

    I probably would have never installed Linux on my desktop but a sub 300$ gadget got me to realize that it can do everything others can and more.
    I have no problems with XP, still use it on my computers but my Linux machine is running the latest distro, with the latest desktop and all the components and applications get updated regularly. 6 months from now, if I want, I can try the latest, latest version for free.
    I like my trusted XP machine but right now it almost feels like im running my 20 year old Mac. It will also be the last Microsoft OS I probably ever use (although Ive discovered Virtuabox).

  7. MS must not have much confidence in it’s starter (crippled) edition of 7.

    1. Windows 7 starter edition for Netbooks is such a bad idea on so many levels that you know the thinking behind this had little to do with benefits for the customer.

      I suspect it has a lot to do with protecting MS margins for the standard versions of the OS and protecting traditional laptop prices etc

  8. Good to know that XP will be supported for a while for those of us who have recenlty purchased a Netbook with that OS. Especially for people like me, who’s hopes were dashed for running Linux (Inspiron Mini 10 owner) anytime soon.

  9. And why should it die? Microsoft almost did too well with XP: it’s still enough for most people’s needs.

    That said I can’t wait to play around with the Win 7 RC this weekend…

  10. good thing from ms cause xp is the best one for now, forgett vista on netbooks and win7 is not out in final version. i believe ms knows that win7 wont run good on netbooks.

    1. Saperalot “I believe MS knows that win7 wont run on good netbooks”

      I have been running Windows 7 on a netbook (Samsung NC10 with only 1GB ram) for about two months and it flies !
      It is faster than XP on a netbook – and I didn’t bother with Vista.

      I have 8-12 more netbooks in our offices and they vary in price range. They all run XP well and moved over to Windows 7 a few weeks ago (apart from a few) and because the Netbook specs on most netbooks are very close there is no difference between “good” netbooks or otherwise

      1. i tested win 7 on two asus 900 and it was ok but not as fast as xp and for now we dont have the final, so none of us could say how it runs cause we all dont now whats up in the final and which version we see on netbooks for sure. but i hope it flies. πŸ™‚

        my believe is that we should nlite them for a good run, win 7 on 11 or 12 inch display will be ok but on 9 or 10 inch i think we will have some probs with the taskbar.

        for now i download the next version and will test it on a 900 and 1000h but with ssd. the real new and good thing on win 7 for me is, that we dont need to align the ssd. xp and vista dont do that, you have to do it by yourself.

        ps: sorry i dont mean good or bad netbooks πŸ™‚ i mean the usability of the os on a netbook. i dont care is atom or celeron or whatever. πŸ™‚

  11. So much for Windows 7 Starter Edition. Who would accept that BS when they could get an unrestricted copy of XP?

    1. or better still Linux – which is inherently unrestricted – and virus hardened.

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