Microsoft to limit hardware of low-cost Windows XP laptops

May 10, 2008

Microsoft to limit hardware of low-cost Windows XP laptops Microsoft will be keeping Windows XP around for low-cost laptops in order to combat the many linux offerings in that arena.  But, the company has decided to limit what hardware manufacturers will be able to use if they want to install Windows XP on ULPC (ultra low-cost PCs).

The Redmond software giant will offer steep discounts to manufacturers that decide to use Windows XP in their ULPCs but must meet specific hardware requirements.

According to PCWorld, screen size cannot be above 10.2-inches, hard drives must be 80GB or smaller and displays cannot be touch sensitive.  Additional limitations include no more than 1GB of memory and a single-core processor between 1.0GHz and 1.6GHz.  The idea behind this is so it doesn’t eat into the Windows Vista market for the same type of laptop which will have those capabilities.

Microsoft will charge between $26 and $32 for copies of Windows XP installed on these type of laptops but some manufacturers may qualify to get it for as little as $10.

Those prices are a bargain for Windows but the limitations should be kept in mind.  Microsoft will be competing with Linux-based competitors which won’t have any such limitations on hardware so some may eventually have touch screens, large hard drives and faster processors which would place it and the manufacturers in a bad position.

This may allow Windows XP to live on after June 30 but looking at this, it isn’t going to be much of a life.

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