Microsoft is to extend the life of its Windows XP Home operating system until 2010, specifically for ultra-low-cost computers (ULCPCs).
Although there is no plan to extend the shelf life of other editions of Windows XP beyond 30 June 2008, users who buy ULCPCs - PCs that are smaller than laptops - will be able to purchase the hardware from manufacturers with XP pre-installed.
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"We are extending computer sales of Windows XP Home for ULCPCs so that they can preinstall Windows on these devices through the later of June 30, 2010 or one year after the general availability of the next version of the Windows operating system," said Michael Dix, general manager of Windows client product management.
Dix said that hardware manufacturers had asked Microsoft to extend sales of Windows XP to give their customers more time to transition to Windows Vista while Microsoft worked with other software suppliers to expand Vista's application compatibility.
Dix said the announcement would not impact on Microsoft's technical support of XP - mainstream technical support will continue to be available until April 2009 and extended support will continue until April 2014.