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Microsoft allows Windows XP to live on

Although Windows Vista hasn't exactly been a hit, Microsoft has consistently said that it plans on discontinuing its predecessor, Windows XP, by 30 June of this year – until now, that is.

According to a report from InfoWorld, Microsoft will extend the availability of Windows XP for budget laptops like Asus' Eee PC.

When Microsoft built Windows Vista, it did not foresee the possibility of budget notebooks gaining popularity, due to their relatively slow CPUs and minimal amounts of RAM. As a result Microsoft didn't design the operating system to run on those computers, and so they have been forced to make a move.

Vista is 'not deemed a practical option'

"Vista is not deemed a practical option for laptops equipped with just 512MB of RAM and 2GB of storage," InfoWorld reported. "Even Vista Starter, the low-cost and stripped-down version that Microsoft developed for emerging markets, still requires 15GB of free storage. Another problem is Vista's cost, which would likely push system prices beyond the range where Intel hopes to see many of these Atom-based laptops priced."

Microsoft did not comment on the report, but sources indicate that the company will announce XP's stay of execution sometime this week.