updated 02:35 pm EDT, Wed September 3, 2008
MS Lifts XP Netbook Limits
Microsoft has backed off some of its restrictions on Windows XP to allow netbooks with larger hard drives to support the older operating system, according to claims from companies in the business. Although the Redmond, Washington-based software firm has so far insisted that systems with hard drives larger than 80GB carry Windows Vista in a bid to drive companies to the newer operating system, it has now allegedly doubled that limit to 160GB, expanding the types of PCs that qualify for the older software.
The shift removes pressure on companies jumping into the expanding netbook field, many of which have been forced to use Windows Vista for some systems in order to get both Windows and added storage. HP's Mini-Note 2133 is normally available with Linux but for awhile has required Windows Vista on some models, particularly those with 120GB of hard drive space.
Evidence of the newly lifted limit includes a new deluxe version of the Acer Aspire one with 160GB of storage but which still uses Windows XP; a similar MSI Wind model is also enroute.
The changed limit underscores problems Microsoft has had in attempting to discourage the use of Windows XP. Microsoft officially discontinued Windows XP sales on June 30th for most PCs but has faced stiff resistance from computer builders that either offer XP downgrade options or else produce netbooks and nettops, either of which has complained of poor performance with Vista even on some full-sized systems.