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Microsoft Slashes XP Price For Subnotebooks

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While Vista may be proving anything but a (new PC-enforced) success, could Windows XP actually be the OS which breaks ground for Microsoft in new markets...?

In an attempt to counter better value deals in the fledgling subnotebook category the Redmond giant has confirmed it is going to heavily subsidize all sales of XP to avoid losing ground to Linux.

Under the new deal any laptop manufacturer producing devices with a sub 10.2in screen, maximum of 80GB storage, 1GB RAM and 1GHz CPUs (with some exceptions) will become eligible to purchase a Windows XP licence for just $32 (approx £17). In developing countries this cost will be reduced to a mere $26 (under £14).

While extreme, this move isn't entirely unexpected. With runaway hits like the Asus Eee PC (above) offering more capacious editions running Linux for the same price as more poorly specified Windows XP versions the demand of the current licensing cost is there for all to see.

More importantly will it make any difference? Can ubiquity prevail against a more nimble, customisable and far less bulky rival? The dreamer in me says "Please no" but the realist takes a suck on his cigar, sits back in his rocking chair, slurps his black coffee and surmises "Probably"...

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