Kiss Windows XP Goodbye on New Netbooks

In a blog post this week, Microsoft made sure to remind everyone that XP's deadline date is fast approaching, making specific mention of netbooks. Come October 22, 2010, "OEMs will no longer be able to pre-install Windows XP Home on new netbook PCs," no matter how much consumers may want it. So is another stay of execution coming?

Don't bank on it, as should be pretty obvious by Microsoft posting the blog entry in the first place. And unlike when Vista was the only Windows alternative around, Windows 7 has been much better received. Citing NPD's Retail Tracking Service, Microsoft pointed out that by April 2010, some 81 percent of netbooks units sold at retail here in the states came with Windows 7 pre-installed. In other words, XP has largely been dethroned anyway, so even though the deadline looms for OEMs, it should be a fairly painless transition.

Nevertheless, if you just can't fathom picking up a new netbook with anything but XP installed, start your back-to-school shopping a little early this year.