As the release of low-cost laptops based on Intel's upcoming Atom Processor draws near, Microsoft is getting boxed into a corner. The software company plans to stop selling most Windows XP licenses after June 30, yet most of these low-cost laptops won't be powerful enough to run Vista when they arrive later this year.
Windows Vista isn't a viable option in this product segment! It's too expensive and does not work on the stripped-down hardware configurations required to keep prices low. That leaves Microsoft executives with a choice: Do they extend the availability of Windows XP for low-cost laptops, or possibly concede this nascent market to Linux?