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Rounding up what just happened so you don't have to

Tuesday morning and all is well in the tech world - apart, that is, for builders of cheapo laptops interested in selling them with Windows XP pre-installed.

We did mention this briefly yesterday, but just wanted to underline what exactly is going on and why it looks bad for either low-end PC builders or Windows XP itself.

XP or not XP?

Of course, we've heard plenty about Microsoft's reluctant admission that it will extend the life of the OS that came before Vista, but hadn't guessed that it would ask builders to so severely restrict the power of new machines if they want a copy of XP.

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The obvious reason for doing so is spelled out by Electronista: "Microsoft does not want [ultra low-cost] PCs reducing demand for more conventional computers equipped with its newest OS."

If we had to guess, we'd say highly competitive firms like Asus will simply ignore Microsoft pretty soon and increasingly turn to Linux distros that don't try to strong-arm them. Sayonara XP after all, in other words.

Alienware to the fore

Also on the PC front, it looks like Dell has had enough of trying to sell both its XPS-branded gaming computers and high-end Alienware laptops.

The rumour mill says most XPS machines are on the way out, with Dell set to properly leverage the value of the Alienware name it acquired just over two years ago at last.

No more JVC

Finally for this morning, the news we reported about 11 months ago has finally come to pass, as Japan's JVC and Kenwood revealed they're ready to shack up together up get on with the business of making more money from car gadgets and home audio kit.

Speaking of filthy lucre, check out the Forbes rich list of young billionaires (including the Google guys) on that same page - is it inspirational or stomach turning? You decide.

That's it for now, but stay tuned to TechRadar for the rest of the day's news as it breaks or grab a feed here - get it while it's hot.