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Windows XP Lives, Thanks to Linux

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the ecosystem-strikes-back dept.

Linux Business 428

CWmike writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols puts his thumb on what really happened to spur Microsoft's change of mind on sparing Windows XP: The smashing success of Asus and others' Linux-powered UMPCs and mini-notebooks caught Microsoft completely by surprise. It turned out people wanted inexpensive, hard-working Linux laptops rather than overpriced, underpowered Vista PCs. If anyone thought this was a flash in the pan, that Asus just hit it lucky once, they haven't been paying attention. Intel is putting big bucks into its Atom family of processors, which have been designed for UMPCs, or as Intel would have it, MIDs. Intel has encouraged both the computer makers and the Linux companies in its Moblin initiative to run desktop Linux. The Linux companies have picked up on this. Canonical, Ubuntu's dad company, has come up with an UMPC-specific version of Ubuntu 8.04, the latest version of this popular Linux distribution, for Intel Atom UMPCs. At Computex, by my count, more than a dozen new UMPCs were announced both from vendors you've never heard of and from big name companies like Acer and Asus. You can also expect to see Dell releasing its 'mini-Inspiron' with Ubuntu by June's end."

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428 comments

Cool. (3, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656097)

I'll be checking out the new systems to see if they would make great portable multi-media systems.

EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (4, Insightful)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656145)

EEE PC already has enough horsepower to play movies and music as well as anything else. Battery life could be improved and it already is up to 7.5 hours [guardian.co.uk] .

Apple dominates the high end market and GNU/Linux rules the low. Soon the ends will meet and M$ will be squeezed out. Vista is a failure and it has taken M$ down with it.

The change is permenant. Vendors have revolted, M$ won't be able to come back. Good riddance.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (5, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656303)

And in the mobile phone market, it seems like Google and Apple (Goople?) are playing nice with each other, which will allow iPhone to rule the high end and Android to dominate the middle-to-low-end phone market. I don't know anyone who loves Windows Mobile, but a lot of people are pretty excited about their iPhones and/or the promise of Android.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (5, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656515)

Actually I'm pretty pleased with my Treo 750. The ability to SSH, change providers, and easily develop software is what made the decision over an iPhone. I'm not trying to start a flamewar, just saying that there are plenty of people out there that are quite happy with Windows Mobile. That isn't to say however that I wouldn't by an Android capable phone the minute it came out.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656617)

I just purchased an HTC 6800 (WM6) and I'm really happy with it. I'm pretty sure I'd like an iPhone, android, or blackberry device too.

It's a pretty good time to be alive if you're a geek.

Thing is, Vista sells more in a day than linux in (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656537)

Thing is, Vista sells more in a day than linux in year. Simple numbers. Who BUYS a PC with Linux? No one I know. You have to be a geek and download, compile, install, and hope you are geek enough to get it right before the sun goes down.

Re:Thing is, Vista sells more in a day than linux (3, Funny)

TTURabble (1164837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656569)

What?

Re:Thing is, Vista sells more in a day than linux (2, Insightful)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656735)

Yeah, seriously. Who compiles it anymore? Gentoo is pretty hardcore. I think regular people can install ubuntu in an hour or so, probably much faster than vista.

Not even close, try in 8 hours as many as Linux in (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656623)

Vista sold 50 million its first year. There is no way linux sold on more than 50 thousand PCs. That's 1000:1, not 365:1.

Re:Thing is, Vista sells more in a day than linux (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656895)

Humm. I wonder. If you take all the Tivos, WAPs, Cellphones, and other embedded devices that come with Linux install on them you might actually beat Vista "Sales"
You might also beat Vista sales if you only count retail boxes of Vista vs sales of Linux :)

BTW
https://shipit.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com]
They will ship you a Linux CD for free.
So no download, no compile, and if you really don't want to you don't even have to install it to use it. It will work as a live-CD.
Should be as easy to install as Vista if not more so.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (1, Informative)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656725)

I have a Windows Mobile powered PDA and I love it. I frequently have to solve problems on Blackberries and I would hate my phone if I had half of those problems. iPhone is not a valid contestant right now because of no Exchange support. Plus, I'm on CDMA, so...

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (2, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656795)

Goople? oh dear, I just threw up a little.

Microsoft ain't over (4, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656405)

Nah. Just because they were caught by surprise doesn't mean that they won't adapt. They don't even have to do anything beyond maintain XP. I am happy that Linux has been able to provide the competitive pressure to keep Microsoft on its toes, but to suggest that MS is going to keep reinforcing failure is a pipe dream. They are already on the OLPC, you can get the EEE with XP if I remember correctly, and so on. I predict that there will soon be a windows "light" based on XP or even NT, and the cycle starts all over again.

Still, it's nice to see that after 10 years or so of stagnation, the free market in software is finally healthy again and doing its job.

Re:Microsoft ain't over (2, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656483)

A++ for the level-headed response. I would have just called him either delusional or a troll :)

Re:Microsoft ain't over (2, Insightful)

flanksteak (69032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656485)

Just because they were caught by surprise doesn't mean that they won't adapt.

Exactly. Microsoft misses everything. They always have. What makes them who they are is their response. Vista is a big slip, but they have too much money to just fade away.

The question is, what will be the response to the ultra mini segment? Can Vista be downsized or does Windows Mobile come up? I see Windows Mobile coming up.

Re:Microsoft ain't over (3, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656879)

I think you may have missed the title of the submission--Vista's too big, Mobile's too small, but XP may be about right. Personally, I still think XP's on the pudgy side, but it's the best fit out of the current microsoft OSes

Re:Microsoft ain't over (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656655)

I'm not sure Microsoft will develop a version of Windows non compatible with Windows XP. Those new mini computers are fast enough for Windows XP, and they will be even faster in the future. And nobody seems to want Windows Mobile on their new mini laptops.

Re:Microsoft ain't over (3, Interesting)

HigH5 (1242290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656753)

Nah. Just because they were caught by surprise doesn't mean that they won't adapt. They don't even have to do anything beyond maintain XP. I am happy that Linux has been able to provide the competitive pressure to keep Microsoft on its toes, but to suggest that MS is going to keep reinforcing failure is a pipe dream. They are already on the OLPC, you can get the EEE with XP if I remember correctly, and so on. I predict that there will soon be a windows "light" based on XP or even NT, and the cycle starts all over again. Still, it's nice to see that after 10 years or so of stagnation, the free market in software is finally healthy again and doing its job.
I think they were caught off guard. Why they would then use an 8 years old and battered OS to fight this new market. Sure, it's proven, and welcomed by the users, but it still doesn't fit so well into the niche as GNU/Linux does. I believe that GNU/Linux will soon dictate the pace in the emerging OS platforms, because it's much more flexible and versatile than Windows. Sure, there's the confusion with hundreds of distros, but who would know which one will catch Microsoft off guard in the next emerging market.

Re:Microsoft ain't over (3, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656925)

I assume you meant to ask "why would [the manufacturers] use [XP]?" The reason is that people will see a line of mini notebooks, see one with a familiar interface, and say "I know how to use that one!" In other words, the manufacturer stands to make a lot more sales if the user thinks it's more familiar or easier to use. And considering the market penetration of Windows, that will apply to a very large potential customer base.

Re:Microsoft ain't over (5, Interesting)

tmcmsail (302707) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656827)

Microsoft always misses the first bus, but they come back with a vengeance. Remember when they thought the internet was not important? Many times, they let someone else lead the way and step in later to take over the market. I loved Word Perfect, Lotus 123, d-Base, and many others, now I am stuck with a work computer with Word, Excel and Access.

Back to making money, supporting the MS systems manufactured to break and need IT pros to keep running...

The market did wake up. M$ is Over. (2, Interesting)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656829)

No one is going for the same old shit anymore. Vista IS a maintained XP. All they did was gloss the GUI and gum up the core with constant indexing and DRM madness. Every version of Windows has been like that but the market has wriggled free. Who's going back to paying M$ for SDKs when GNU/Linux does the same or better for free? As hardware makers go, so customers will follow. Ballmer declared developers as all important, but only as "pawns and one night stands" [slashdot.org] . The same reasoning applies to hardware makers, customers, and everyone else. The whole OOXML attack at ISO proves that nothing has changed at Microsoft.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656447)

Vista is not a failure. I'm not trolling (though many will see it that way) - vista has made MS a bunch of money, and if anything, has given them a great wake-up call to shape up or ship out. It'll only be a failure if they never release another version of Windows, and don't learn from their mistakes. +5, Troll expected - slashdot, don't let me down!

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656603)

Vista has made MS a bunch of money, if you count the people who bought Vista, didn't like it, and then bought XP. MS sold a bunch of site licenses to businesses which allow them to install XP over the Vista that their new computers came with.

This is not sustainable growth, and their customers are massively pissed. MS is going to have a really hard time ever selling anything to these customers again.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (-1, Troll)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656641)

Dude, Vista is a failure [slashdot.org] . Now that will get me a -5 Troll rating, but the journal entry I just pointed to has links to every tech and mainstream press organization saying the same things. Users, vendors and "partners" have revolted and M$ has even lost it's grip on the press. Their one and only success in the last year was their desperate beat down of the ISO with M$XML but even that's uncertain and largely pointless. No one is really willing to pay the M$ tax anymore.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656723)

Microsoft would have liked Vista on all new retail computers (which is happening), but they would also have wanted it adopted in corporate world (which is not really happening) and purchased as upgrade (also, not a big sell).
      So, Vista had brought them money on the low estimate, and probably costed them quite a bit more than the initial estimates.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (3, Funny)

silgaun (1029852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656729)

You're right. It's not a failure, it's a feature

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (4, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656751)

vista has made MS a bunch of money
This is true, but success/failure depends on how much money was made, and whether it was enough to justify the expense and/or unintended consequences.

[Vista] has given them a great wake-up call to shape up or ship out.
People usually say this about failures.

It'll only be a failure if they never release another version of Windows, and don't learn from their mistakes.
MS will probably release another (newer, as opposed to just updating XP) version of Windows, but it's not obvious that they will learn from their Vista mistakes. Either way, it's certainly too early to tell if it's been a total failure. I think it's safe to say that from a marketing standpoint, it's been a failure.

Ubuntu 8.04 (-1, Troll)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656495)

So if Ubuntu 8.04 is scaled down for a UMPC, will the suck also be scaled down, or will it be full suck in half the space?

Re:Ubuntu 8.04 (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656757)

Well, if it's being used instead of XP, the overall level of the computer's suck would be scaled down along with the scaled-down version of ubuntu.

SJV-N's "copygate"? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656539)

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols? Didn't he just get fired for plagiarism?

Kind of sad that Slashdot gives someone like this any credibility. He's been claiming Windows is doomed for at least ten years... which was obviously wrong... and then he gets caught passing off vendor's press releases as his own work.

Yeah... real credible guy. But when you are desperate to hear violent anti-MS FUD, I guess you gotta go with the lying, discredited plagiarists you have, rather than the lying, discredited plagiarists you might want, or wish to have at a later time.

Re:EEEPC already does that. M$ is over. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656699)

ROFLMAO

The EEEPC series runs XP just fine, the XP GUI is perfectly usable on a 1024x600 screen (the only time I have had to go into top/bottom scroll mode was the settings dialog in iTunes) and should be pretty usable even on the smaller screen (I would imagine third party apps will be more of an issue than windows itself). and MS has agreed to let vendors of such machines keep shipping XP on them for the forseeable future.

Fact is apple has a niche of people who either happen to fit thier very narrow hardware selection or are prepared to put up with apples hardware selection to get OS-X legally.

Linux is doing fairly well in the market for smaller than laptop devices which people don't expect to be able to run thier normal apps on.

MS still dominates the market for ordinary desktops and laptops and I don't see any evidence that will change anytime soon.

One Pair of Glasses (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656401)

Doesn't Slashdot's constant stream of "OMG M$ iz doing dis cuz of teh lunix!!!11!" seem a bit incredulous? Surely Microsoft must be making decisions, somehow, based on what they think is best for their company rather than based on what Linux is doing, right?

I mean, you have a company with about 94% of the market... and Slashdotters keep saying that, amazingly, Microsoft is making decisions based upon what an operating system with LESS than 1% share of the market (0.64%, to be precise) is doing. Seems a little... crazy, maybe?

I can see maybe MS paying attention to what's going on, and more than likely watching what a company with actual GAINS in market share over the past decade or so is doing (namely, Apple, which has around a 4% market share, maybe a bit more). But Linux? Really? Why? How does that help them in any way?

The FUD just doesn't add up, or make any sense. Feel free to explain it, however. Because IMO, it seems like a one-worldview kind of problem. Slashdot spends SO much time and energy thinking about Linux, to the exclusion of everything else... that people here have convinced themself that EVERYTHING in the world somehow relates to Linx. Because they only have that one pair of glasses with which to look at the world.

Re:One Pair of Glasses (1)

masterzora (871343) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656557)

It's not so much that MS is saying "ZOMG Linux is doing this therefore we must do it with Windows" as it is "Some vendor wanted to make this and, in order to make it as cheap as possible, they used Linux. Now that this has proven successful, we believe we can find a way to use Windows in this context and be successful, too." So, it's not so much responding to Linux as it is doing something that Linux proved possible.

Re:One Pair of Glasses (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656745)

Well, let me have a stab at this. For some time now, it 'seems' like MS business decisions might have been made by looking at the chairs scattered in the hallway outside the boardroom like so many tea leaves in the bottom of a cup.

Whether you like MS or not, clearly Vista was not the big deal it was supposed to be, and has failed to live up to expectations of even many MS fanbois. With users and businesses requesting XP be installed on new machines, and requests for longer lifecycle for XP added to the growth in GNU/Linux marketshare plus GNU/Linux shipping on some big name OEM machines. The trend here is not a positive one for MS. MSN is not making money, Zune is not making money, XBox isn't making any real money, XP is not causing the finance group to be all smiles either. Clearly the bid for Yahoo was a sign to everyone that MS does not plan to innovate it's way out of the maelstrom they find themselves in right now. When you get caught bluffing at poker, your hand is played out.

MS will have to do something rather extraordinary to turn the current trend around. Trying to do that in the midst of a recession might be difficult. There are very large organizations (whole countries even) that have decided to dump MS Windows products for various reasons. It really doesn't matter how good XP was or is, MS marketshare is leaching away in many areas. Wii helped with that. Ubuntu et al have helped with it. Dell et al helped too. In a recession Free sounds a lot better than 350 bucks, especially when it runs better on your old hardware than Vista does on brand new hardware. Of course there is the whole DRM thing to think of also. Then there is the iPod halo effect bringing more Mac customers.

There are plenty of reasons for NOT choosing Vista or MS products. Linux is one alternative, and it does deserve some of the lime light in this situation. If Linux wasn't working so good, MS would be making money off of Vista de facto.

The fact that there is only a very minute chance that you managed to post your message without relying on some version of Linux sort of technically means that Linux *IS* related and germane to a whole lot of things in the world today.

ultra-rugged umpcs? (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656099)

anyone know of an ultra-rugged umpc out there? The sort of thing the military would use, or whatnot?

EEEPC (3, Funny)

willeyhill (1277478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656209)

Any UMPC using SSDs is already tougher than the "toughbooks" currently in use. Just buy a EEE PC and silicone some rubber and foam onto it.

Re:EEEPC (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656505)

A man "silicone augmenting" his computer... hmm, pretty soon you'll have something to make into a movie. [imdb.com]

Re:EEEPC (3, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656541)

We use them exclusively in the field, when somebody drops it or somehow breaks it (and people can get very creative about what they do) we're only out a few hundred dollars compared to the over $2,000 we used to spend on toughbooks.

Re:EEEPC (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656731)

Uh, no. There are no military-grade UMPCs available. Try that EEE mod then drop from shoulder height on concrete and let me know how it works out for you. Toughbooks get dropped out the back of C130s and survive. The EEE would probabky shatter if it fell off my desk. And that's not even getting into the water, dust, shock, freezing tests.

Working in the intelligence community, having deployed to Iraq et al, and being a former Marine, I've seen a lot of the systems we use. For rough field use, there's the toughbook, and pretty much very little else. There have been some attempts at deploying a rugged PDA-type device to troops, but technical difficulties and cost, among other things, have kept them from gaining widespread use. I have seen some, uh, unconventional forces use the Sony Vaio Micro PC 280P in a padded case. For light field use, it gets the job done, but it's hardly rugged. I happen to have one myself, and I wouldn't imagine dropping it or getting it wet.

I hope as these UMPCs or MIDs become more powerful and more popular, we'll see some rugged versions designed for military use. There's so much we could use them for. It might even spur the use of Linux in DoD, godforbid.

Hmmm... (5, Interesting)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656123)

I wonder, with the surge in this UMPC form factor, if not only efficient OS's are favored, but perhaps new networked games with cross-platform ports (and a smaller footprint).

I scent a market opportunity for game companies to port more games to Linux...

Re:Hmmm... (1)

sskagent (1170913) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656191)

Or a functional windows emulator would be nice

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656125)

_0_
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.|!|
.| |
Windows XP lives, thanks to goatse [goatse.ch]

Caught between a rock and a hard place? (4, Interesting)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656131)

So Microsoft has to keep XP going to slow the adoption of Linux? Yet malware writers are now using Microsoft's patch cycle for XP at least (and can Vista be far behind?) to rapidly create exploits. And of course XP is still rife with security issues. I wonder how long XP can stay afloat with malware on one side and Linux on the other? (especially if Microsoft stops fixing XP security issues)

Re:Caught between a rock and a hard place? (2, Informative)

rodgster (671476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656213)

I haven't checked recently, but I thought MS was going to remove XP from all distribution channels June 30th, 2008.

Re:Caught between a rock and a hard place? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656555)

I think that they will still sell it for these tiny PCs, since they won't run Vista. For them not to do so would mean forfeiting the market to Linux - something they are not prepared to do.

Re:Caught between a rock and a hard place? (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656579)

except for the low powered machines. in fact MSFT is trying to put artificial limits on these machines in terms of speed, ram, storage, etc so that they don't eat into the vista hardware.

While still claiming that XP is done with on june 30th, there are so many exceptions it won't even been funny.

I fully expect to be able to buy a full spec machine running a new copy of XP in 6 months.

Re:Caught between a rock and a hard place? (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656419)

At least that's the press release.

Real reason? Vista sucks. Almost EVERY business I consult for ask for me to get them copies of XP for any new PC they get that has Vista on it.

Business and most people DO NOT WANT vista. That is what is keeping XP alive. MSFT refuses to admit it so they use another reason.

Re:Caught between a rock and a hard place? (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656491)

It's very easy to keep an XP install running. Especially since SP2, now that the firewall is on by default. I've run XP for years without a firewall of its own (just a NAT denying inbound connections), and no anti-virus, and I didn't have virus problems. I'm not suggesting you're spreading some FUD, I'm merely hinting that the reality you've painted isn't reflected in some, if not many people's 'eXPerience'.

Re:Caught between a rock and a hard place? (1)

JoeStreet (113907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656797)

So Microsoft has to keep XP going to slow the adoption of Linux? ... I wonder how long XP can stay afloat with malware on one side and Linux on the other?
Or how long can Vista stay afloat with UMPCs on one side and Linux on the other? The hot new hardware won't run Vista and UMPC vendors are choosing Linux over the almost dead XP. The best thing Microsoft can do to speed the adoption of Linux is to kill XP and not have an OS offering on UMPCs. And extending XP Home is of little use to corporate sys admins.

Didn't Balmer recently say that Microsoft would consider extinding the life of XP if the market demanded it? Well it seems as if the market is screaming for XP but Microsoft can't hear because they have their collective heads up their asses.

I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656139)

Finally this is the year of desktop linux.

Re:I knew it (4, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656253)

Finally this is the year of desktop linux.
Didn't you say that last year?

Re:I knew it (3, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656597)

He is mistaken. This is the year of the Laptop Linux!

Desktop Linux isn't scheduled for release yet. Perhaps next year.

Windows is over. (4, Insightful)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656283)

No one is going to spend $400 on an OS so they can run a $450 word processor. The Microsoft era is closed.

Re:Windows is over. (4, Insightful)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656507)

Why would that be modded flamebait?

It's true.

Re:Windows is over. (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656849)

I like microsoft just as much as the next linux/OS X user, but in order to avoid the flamebait mods you should reduce the prices by about 50%.

Re:Windows is over. (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656777)

Flamebait, but it seems people will pay $400 for an OS so they can run a $40 game (next year, or maybe two years from now) - as DirectX 10 is not available in Windows XP

More like a stay of execution.. (3, Interesting)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656175)

I do not think MS is going to completely spare XP, more likely it is just delaying it's execution. As time goes on, the hardware will be caught up enough to run Vista and MS will have had time to "fine tune" it enough to make people get along with it, then they will kill XP.

Re:More like a stay of execution.. (2, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656233)

Or they'll make a "Vista Lite" that will run on the lower capabilities of UMPCs.

Re:More like a stay of execution.. (4, Funny)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656347)

Which will be an XP box with a black marker 'X' through it and "Vista Lite" written underneath it!

Re:More like a stay of execution.. (1)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656261)

You can bet they will be pushing the hardware 3 kinds of ways from Sunday to develop one that is 'Optimized' for Vista. The good news is that this will probably force M$ to come up with a pared-down version. Unfortunately they'll probably keep the 'security' features and Aero stuff. Thus a deal with NVIDIA for that ultra-small GPU.

Re:More like a stay of execution.. (3, Interesting)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656923)

Microsoft was expecting Vista's increased hardware requirements to align with Moore's law. The only problem was that hardware performance is not increasing as quickly as it was in the 90s. Multi-core CPUs are coming out but CPU mhz are not really going anywhere. Thus Microsoft cannot add features like they used to and expect the reduced performance to be acceptable as it once was, due to continuous hardware improvements.

XP Home Only (5, Interesting)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656205)

OK, so they're extended the life of XP Home Edition until 2010 to capture more of the mini-laptop market. So? Name me one network admin who will use XP Home on an ultra-portable. These things are perfect for someone who needs a small, lightweight laptop to administer a network rack, and XP Home is practically useless for that.

The target market for XP Home has had Vista pushed on it for the past year and a half, and most of that target market probably doesn't know enough about Windows to care about XP vs. Vista.

Only extending the life of XP Pro will have any meaning.

XP Pro. (1)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656383)

You will have to buy Vista Business or Ultimate to get that, but neither of those is selling as well as EEEPC with Xandros.

Exactly, but... (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656593)

You will have to buy Vista Business or Ultimate to get that, but neither of those is selling as well as EEEPC with Xandros.
Bingo.

1. Sell these umpc's vith a Vista Business license

2. Ship them pre-installed with XP Pro

3. ?????

4. PROFIT!


Seriously though, for this platform I say roll all the way back to Windows 2000.

Re:XP Home Only (3, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656425)

Name me one network admin who will use XP Home on an ultra-portable.
Remind me again why anybody would care what network admins do with their ultraportables?

Re:XP Home Only (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656677)

Most admins probably have a volume disk and serial ready, but yeah youre right MS is doing this so it doesnt cannibalize vista too much.

Re:XP Home Only (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656743)

Name me one network admin who will use XP Home on an ultra-portable.

Find me a reason to provision an ultraportable to a user when he already has a standard laptop (running XP Pro or Vista Business) and a mobile phone running Windows Mobile?

Further, if the UMPC is for the admin himself, why not XP home? Who says you have to bind your machine to a domain?

...For as much MS hate as is deserved in this place, the same or larger portion is unjustified.

Re:XP Home Only (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656817)

Name me one network admin who will use XP Home on an ultra-portable.
My friend Robert Parck. He uses XPHome even on his dog!

Re:XP Home Only (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656821)

These things are perfect for someone who needs a small, lightweight laptop to administer a network rack, and XP Home is practically useless for that.
If you are running a rackfull of windows servers I would have thought you would have been in some form of MS volume licensing program. Volume licenses for windows come with generous downgrade rights (all the way to windows 95 iirc).

I do find it odd that ASUS doesn't offer the machines with a vista buisness license pre-downgraded to XP pro (as big brand OEMs are now allowed to do) though.

media-centered (3, Insightful)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656239)

well, microsoft had been moving toward a media-centered model for years now, and vista was supposed to deliver just that - a way for users to use their computers not just for computing, but for media applications, home networking, etc. None of the UMPCs would really be able to deliver that, so microsoft never paid much attention to the issue.

XP really fills that niche for people looking for an ultra-mobile but also not willing to move to a linux OS. Which really is a much larger market then those who would gladly use linux on their mobile machine. I'd be surprised if microsoft will not fight hard to regain control of that market.

Just keep stalling.. (1)

whodkne (778580) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656247)

Just like with ME, I'll contiue to use XP until a sutiable replacement comes about. Maybe W7 will prove to be that.

Re:Just keep stalling.. (5, Funny)

Fx.Dr (915071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656421)

Just like with ME, I'll contiue to use XP until a sutiable replacement comes about.

Whoa, you waited for a "suitable replacement" for Millennium Edition?

Head Asplode

Re:Just keep stalling.. (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656525)

No joke... ME is universally known as the worst of the Windows versions of all time (even worse than Vista).

Re:Just keep stalling.. (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656881)

I'm pretty sure he meant keeping 98SE and skipping ME to wait for a suitable replacement.

Re:Just keep stalling.. (2, Funny)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656883)

I am not sure why they were modded down really. It seems reasonably on-topic and they should be welcome to their opinion. I suspect that they are a bit like myself and one of the six other people who actually had sustained enjoyable productive experiences on Windows ME. Sometimes we even had stable machines.

I was never sure if WinME was a SP for the 9x line or a beta for XP but I, and the afore mentioned six people, really enjoyed it.

Good suumary and... (-1, Offtopic)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656259)

I have some more on mobile Linux on my blog [24.com] ...

Well... It was actually the "Not Windows" bit (5, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656263)

So far anything on the market ran either both Windose and Linux or just Windoze.

IMO what got MSFT really scared is that many of the crop of the new and cheap PCs went as far as not being bothered to be Windows compatible on release. Asus is a prime example - it could not run Windows XP as shipped without MSFT doing some work on it. Half of the UMPCs are on its heels as well.

This is not something Microsoft has ever experienced in its history since the days of DOS vs CPM - the hottest PC product on the market based on customer demand for the Christmas season to be Windows incompatible.

It is not the linux market penetration that they are worried about, it is the change of attitude in major OEMs. The entire MSFT business is based around a B&D relationship with OEMs which keeps OEMs doing exactly what MSFT wants. An OEM rebellion is what MSFT is most scared of and it will do anything and give out any candy it can to prevent it.

Re:Well... It was actually the "Not Windows" bit (2, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656707)

You're right; PC sales have historically been for faster, more capable computers. These "UMPCs" seem to be the opposite; not as powerful or capable, and so if you're shooting for your OS to run on PCs NOW and in the future, and not targeting older ones, there will be issues.

That said, MS isn't stupid, and they'll make sure SOMETHING MS runs on these.

Ubuntu's dad company? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656291)

Dad company? I thought it was just a hurriedly written, apathetically edited slashdot crud. Turns out the gem was in the original presumably well written article. So the question is who did that "dad" sleep with to spawn Ubuntu?

Re:Ubuntu's dad company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656391)

Debian.

Re:Ubuntu's dad company? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656423)

Dad company? I thought it was just a hurriedly written, apathetically edited slashdot crud. Turns out the gem was in the original presumably well written article. So the question is who did that "dad" sleep with to spawn Ubuntu?
Deb and Ian Murdoch, of course.

Those new "little" CPUs aren't so little (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656297)

Those new "little" CPUs coming out aren't so little. They're above 1GHz now, they're going into machines with 1 GB of memory, and some of them are superscalar. They even have GPUs. That's more than enough power for any reasonable portable system. Mail, web browsing, video playing, the occasional PowerPoint presentation - you don't need a quad-core 3 GHZ CPU part for that.

What you need is battery life. The next frontier may be less CPU power but a full day of operation or more between recharges. Note that phone battery life was a huge issue until it reached a day or two of moderate to heavy use. After that, it stopped being a major factor in buying decisions.

Re:Those new "little" CPUs aren't so little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656891)

Tech is that way. Will wait for more of it

-----
www.gameloo.info - www.softwareloo.info

huh? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656315)

Frist Psot?

Great for linux... (4, Insightful)

sucker_muts (776572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656321)

... but I'm still dissapointed that most of those laptops are promoted with XP on it anyway.

Here in Belgium I saw an ad voor an asus EEE last week, but with shiny happy 'Windows XP' logo and specification besides it.

I'm afraid too many users (and stores) over here are too lazy to try something new. It makes sense that supermarkets (the ad was from one) might try to sell XP rather than linux, so they can sell some other software that's needed.
With linux, a lot needed software is installed by default, and that does not translate in money to earn. :-(

(The day when proprietary software wil be perfect against piracy will be a day to rejoice: Empty your wallets, or stop being lazy and try something like open source for a while, it's not that bad when you only need basic stuff done!)

Re:Great for linux... (1)

reynaert (264437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656737)

Which supermarket was that? I completely missed it.

Re:Great for linux... (2, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656803)

I'm afraid too many users (and stores) over here are too lazy to try something new. It makes sense that supermarkets (the ad was from one) might try to sell XP rather than linux, so they can sell some other software that's needed.

The market must be different over there. I keep an eye out for Eees wnenever I'm out shopping for kit, and I've only ever seen the Linux ones. I reasoned that it was (a) people familiar with XP on a bigger screen will think the Eee's screen small and cramped, while the custom Linux interface fits just fine, and (b) these are cheaper, and this end of the laptop market is all about price. I don't really get the point of Windows on these machines; they're not your primary workstation, nor are they in any way a gamer's box; they're portable net terminals and maybe media players.

Never bought one, because I'd heard about the bigger screen of the 900 series; the wasted space at the sides of the 700s is ugly. But then the 900s got too expensive for a cute-little-laptop impulse buy. Now I'm hanging on a little longer for the Acer Aspire One, which is about my perfect spec. Linux box, 1024x600, eight gig storage, one kilo mass, two hundred quid. Sold.

There's No Surprises (4, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656403)

Only complacent management at Microsoft.

Here's the loong tale of how this stuff happens.

This is how it works people. Smaller companies hit on a good idea all of the time. Every once in a while, the idea appeals to a very large group of consumers. Big companies just wait. Sometimes for quite a while.

All big companies, Microsoft included, have one guy running around corporate going "This UMPC thing is going to be big! We need to target it." This guy is completely ignored because there's no market data and Management pretty much ignores him because he's saying stuff like this all of the time.

Meanwhile, Asus figured out how to deliver the goods on the cheap. Microsoft's Asus rep ignored Asus's info about UMPC's because Microsoft's rep is used to waiting for corporate to deliver the pinata filled with money.

When Asus gets things rolling, Management panics because their high-priced market research has just come back with a new report saying cheap UMPC's are growing into a huge market. Some ass-kisser in Marketing is then tasked with stomping on the Linux Distro by preparing a pinata filled with money to deliver to Microsoft's Asus rep.

There's more waiting. More market research. More waiting. Presentations. Approvals. Meetings. More waiting.

Microsoft corporate delivers pinata to Asus rep. Microsoft's OS is then available as a SKU worldwide ~1-3 years after Asus's product launch.

Apple needs to make overpriced underpowered mini (-1, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656437)

Apple needs to make a real desktop to replace the overpriced and underpowered mini at the $600 to $2100 price level they can keep a low end system in the $400 to $600 range.

Re:Apple needs to make overpriced underpowered min (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656657)

Well, that was random.

Coke needs to come out with a blue-flavored cola.

MSFT investors aren't lovin it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656471)

Computex was a total disaster for Microsoft. The stock is down about 4% in the last few days.

The headline (2, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656511)

Mobile: Windows XP Lives, Thanks to Linux
I wouldn't say it's [..] thanks to Linux, but rather [..] due to Linux. It's fairly obvious that Microsoft wants people to use Vista rather than XP, so the fact that XP still lives is hardly something Microsoft would thank Linux for.

I also doubt that Microsoft didn't foresee this since companies like ASUS surely talk to Microsoft about their future. The only part I think they got wrong was to tout Vista as a serious operating system for ultra portables.

Computers that just plain work (5, Interesting)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656607)

I feel part of this is a reaction of people to slow, buggy computers that crash all the time: a computer is useless if it doesn't actually work. User don't care how fast the computer is. They don't care how fancy the OS is or how many bells and whistles the applications have. As long as it does what they need it to do, they're happy.

I've actually met people who are suspicious of Macs. They're too easy. They're too reliable. They're not like other (i.e. Windows) computers. There has to be a catch, somewhere. Us Mac fans just say this is how computers are supposed to work, and it's Windows that has it wrong.

...laura

does this make it..... (3, Funny)

OutOnARock (935713) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656693)



The Year of the Linux UMPC?

...ducks... :) ....

Stupidest os release? (4, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656779)

From the article

...and Vista is looking more and more like Microsoft's stupidest operating system release ever. Yes, even counting Windows ME and MS-DOS 4.0.

I think that honor belongs to Microsoft Bob http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob [wikipedia.org]

How much longer can Windows really stick around? (3, Insightful)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656785)

XP does the two things you really want an OS to do well. Run all the software you want, on the hardware you want. But XP is getting long in the tooth.

The market is going to things like these UMPCs. It's going to tablets and other exotic hardware. Windows is losing one of the two things here. Vista doesn't run at all on them. Microsoft's only answer is keep putting out XP. On these systems, even XP doesn't run on the hardware as well as Linux.

Next up is software. These aren't gaming PCs. Linux is running the software people want to run. Firefox, Pidgin for IMs, It plays media without hassles. It has an office suite. Toss wine on there, and it will even run Office. Look at all the solutions that mac users use to run a couple Windows programs on OSX. The market is coming around to just using emulation for that last 5% of Windows software they want or need to run.

If Windows loses the only two reasons people put up with it, why would they continue to run it? OEMs are seeing this as well, and are just putting out Linux machines. Dell is going "If people buying Apple machines will use Parallels to run Windows stuff they can't in OSX, why can't they just use Crossover to run them on Linux"? In a market like PC, that $20 they spend on that Windows license is $20 they can't lower the price to compete with others. That $20 is a difference in someone buying a Dell, and going elsewhere.

Windows may end up being a niche market, with business that just need native Windows for one reason or another. But considering they are losing the two reasons home users RUN Windows, and then the added headaches associated to running it, why are they going to continue to bother?

Thanks to Vista, too (3, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656813)

If Vista didn't suck so much and wasn't as bloated as a dead whale carcass, Windows XP wouldn't have a reason to stick around. It's not just Linux, give credit where it's due.

The fact that Vista took 6 years to get here meant that the minimum specs for running Windows.CurrentVersion didn't change for 6 years, which created a market for ultra-cheap subnotebooks that would run like shit if they had to run Vista. Linux wins there, and XP's Microsoft's stopgap to try to compete with it.

Yeah right. (2, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23656837)

Unfortunately this headline is very sensationalist, and provides a very limited scope of the entirety IT industry as a whole.

Basically, the person who blogged this has been reading too many internet blogs surrounding these products.

Intel's ATOM CPU was not aimed at the "UMPC" market, though most certainly can be used in this fashion. Intel's Atom is aimed at the ARM market. They targetted it for the mobile phone/handheld device market.

Sure, your random IT geek bloggers are going to talk about the latest "smallest mobile gadget" and everything like that because that's what they do. That's their job. They're not going to talk up how Dell rolls out a new line of high end laptops because guess what? It doesn't sell their blog. These people are "gadget geeks" and not IT nerds.

Microsoft's spurred change on XP has a lot to do with the fact that companies rolling out desktops want to continue rolling out desktops that they know will work with their existing infrastructure. Why move to Vista, for example, when all of your servers are running Server 2003?

Having the option there is certainly not a bad thing, and it's by no means an admittance by Microsoft that "Vista sucks". Software-wise, Vista and Server 2008 are light years beyond the Server 2003/XP combination and continue to grow.

Where Microsoft is going to grow their market, however, is through a more "peer to peer" "social" computing concept, which they are experimenting with the Live Mesh project.

The biggest problem facing very large IT environments today is how to find data that you've got stored? You can have Z:\shares\commonshares\departments\finance\finance documents\marys finance documents\2008\march\monthly sheet for April.xls (multiply this by 1000000x and this is what most IT environments have) and be completely unable to find it.

So they're working on improved searching features, and again, things like Live Mesh are going to help this even more. They're also working on Sharepoint to provide even easier management of such items.

Microsoft isn't going anywhere, Linux and Apple aren't going to squeeze them out, and the EEE PC is just a fad. As soon as the "average joe" gets his hands on one and realize it won't play his video games, he's going to take it back and that's that.

Lenovo now charges an upgrade fee for XP (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23656921)

1) http://shop.lenovo.com/
2) Select X series
3) Select X61
4) Click customize&buy
5) To upgrade from Vista, pick:
  " Genuine Windows XP Professional [add $59.25] "

The writing is on the wall. Pretty soon Lenovo will probably offer an upgrade from Vista to Ubuntu for $30 or so...
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