Having already extended the XP sales cut-off point once, the last thing Microsoft wanted to do was extend it again - but it was inevitable.
Late last night Michael Dix, General Manager of Windows Client Product Management, was the man to put his head on the block and explain why XP would get a second sales reprieve.
As it now stands, Dix says Windows XP Home edition will continue to be sold for 'ultra-low-cost PCs' (ULCPCs) - such as the Eee PC (above) - until 30 June 2010, or one year after general availability of Windows 7 (could be 30 June 2019, then). No other versions of Windows will be extended past the amended 30 June date (all editions were originally planned to be shelved on 30 January).
Trying to spin his way out of the company's latest XP U-turn, Dix said: "ULCPCs are a new and growing class of mobile computers designed for first-time PC buyers and customers interested in complementing their primary Windows-based PCs with companion devices with limited hardware capabilities. These machines vary, but they typically have smaller screen sizes and lower-powered processors than more expensive mobile PCs. While originally intended for students and other first-time PC customers in emerging markets, we're now seeing interest in these affordable devices in developed countries as well... While Windows Vista provides many benefits, including an easier and more secure user experience, Windows XP Home provides an effective solution on these devices from a performance and cost perspective."
Putting this into real English, what Dix is essentially saying is when Microsoft made Vista, apart from creating a bug-filled mess, it also produced a bloated, resource intensive mess and while many of the bugs are now being cleared up the company can't get away from the fact it is just too large and too demanding for this new wave of ULCPCs - a market Microsoft clearly didn't see coming and it doesn't want to lose out to Linux.
All together now... oops.