At first, Microsoft backed off on the restrictions it had placed on Windows XP Home for netbooks. By now, Microsoft had wanted companies to stop installing Windows XP on their PCs, with the exception of netbooks. They had already began discouraging individuals from buying it and installing it (although it’s still available here and there).
Netbooks were still prime candidates for Windows XP since they were running older chipsets and CPUs and graphics chipsets that weren’t exactly made for Windows Vista. It had looked like January 31, 2009 was going to be the final date any of us could buy a machine that came with XP (or rather that we could downgrade to Vista with new machines).
Now Microsoft is officially reversing course and is going to extend the deadline to July 31, 2009. While it would be easy to point to netbooks as playing a key part (especially given the sales numbers), there’s a lot more at play here – Vista was not being adopted as widely as Microsoft wanted, and some companies and organizations had decided to skip Vista entirely and wait for Windows 7 in 2010.
I have a feeling this deadline will get pushed back to the end of 2009 or whenever Windows 7 is launched – netbooks are only increasing in popularity. Windows 7 will offer the ability to have a stripped down version of Windows to perform better on devices like netbooks (although one would hope that by 2010, we are up to much better graphics chipsets and dual-core Atoms and VIA CPUs).
Read: Information Week