Windows Vista didn't have an easy launch, and as a result Microsoft and their partners had to prolong the life of Windows XP until June of this year in an attempt to keep system builders and their customers happy. One line of reasoning behind this was that Vista would have all of its kinks ironed out by June of this year, and for the most part that task seems to have already been accomplished. But yet XP looks like it's still not ready to retire, and the reasons for it are somewhat surprising and unexpected:
“The biggest area where XP is likely to stick around is in the nascent but growing market of low-cost, flash memory-based notebook computers, such as the Asus Eee PC. These devices are fertile ground for Linux, benefiting from its low cost and low memory requirements. Microsoft had to do some work just to get Windows XP onto the Eee PC and Vista would seem to be a non-starter.
Speaking of starters, another area where XP is likely to persist is in emerging markets. Microsoft conceded as much when it first extended the XP deadline last year. In addition to offering a few months reprieve for XP broadly, the software maker said it would offer the entry level Windows XP Starter Edition through 2010 for use on ultra low-cost PCs.”
It wouldn't be surprising if a stripped down version of Vista or “Windows 7” was in the works with an expected launch date of 2010 to take XP's place.