Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Microsoft Extends XP Home Licensing to Include Nettop Devices

At the Computex show this week in Taipei, Taiwan, Microsoft announced that it would extend its support of Windows XP Home Edition to include a coming generation of so-called Nettop devices. Previously, Microsoft had announced its intention to extend support of XP Home to Ultra-Low-Cost PCs (ULCPCs), which are sometimes referred to as Netbooks.

Put more simply, where Netbooks are low-cost mobile computers, Nettops are low-cost desktop PCs. Like Netbooks, Nettops are aimed both at emerging markets and at multi-PC households.

"Customers and partners have made it clear to us that they want Windows on their Netbooks and Nettops," said Microsoft corporate vice president Steven Guggenheimer. "We are committed to providing Windows solutions for these devices, helping to ensure a high-quality experience for both our partners and customers."

Microsoft originally planned to stop selling Windows XP after June 30, 2008 but recently extended that date only for XP Home and only on Netbooks. This week's announcement brings Nettops into the XP fold as well.

Not surprisingly, many of the companies that have seen success in the Netbook business are working on Nettop PC designs as well. Asus, for example, will soon begin selling a low-cost Eee Box PC that compliments its popular Eee PC portable device. Over 20 PC makers are working on XP-based Netbook and Nettop offerings, Microsoft says.

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