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Microsoft Extends Life of Windows XP

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it will keep selling a version of Windows XP for use on a new breed of low-cost computers for at least two years longer than the older operating system will be available on mainstream PCs.

The software maker said Windows XP Home will be available through June 2010, or for a year beyond the release of the next version of Windows, for computers like Intel Corp.'s Classmate PC and ASUSTek Computer Inc.'s Eee PC. Those machines have smaller hard drives, less memory and slower processors than most Windows computers sold today, and most would have a hard time running the bulkier Windows Vista.

Microsoft had planned to stop selling most versions of XP at the end of June 2008, with exceptions for small computer-building shops and PCs sold in developing countries. But surprising demand in developed countries for what it calls ultra-low-cost personal computers prompted Redmond-based Microsoft to extend that deadline.

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