Microsoft has sent out a warning that Windows XP will finally be dropped from netbooks as of October 22. The policy is a reminder of a move originally unveiled in April 2008 but will require that all Windows-based netbooks use Windows 7 from the fall onwards. Switching isn't expected to be a major issue as about 81 percent of netbooks were already using the much more modern OS by April, according to NPD data.
The switch still represents one of the last steps in Windows XP's lifespan. Regular PCs moved relatively quickly to Windows 7 after dropping Vista and XP, but the lower price and system demands of XP led netbook designers to keep the nearly nine-year-old OS as a standard OS on their least expensive systems.
XP's prolonged existence was mostly sparked by Vista, as its steep system requirements made it impractical to use on netbooks without inflating the performance and cost through extra RAM or advanced graphics. Microsoft also used the age of the OS to justify charging just $15 per each netbook where even Vista Starter Edition would have cost at least $30, raising the price and leaving an opening for cheaper Linux netbooks.