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Microsoft Shuts Windows XP on Homes With Older PCs.

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Microsoft announced a new slimmed down version of Windows XP. They call it Eiger. Its shrunken version of XP will be usable on older PCS, at least some of them.

The product will be based on Windows XP professional with Service Pack 2 and is designed for server-centric computing environments. The minimum requirements for will be a Pentium2 with 128 MB RAM and a 500 MB hard drive according to Barry Goffe, a group product manager with Microsoft.

“There is a set of customers who have old hardware and who want to try to eke a little more value out of that hardware,” Goffe says.

Governments and larger businesses will use Eiger mainly because they would buy in volume. Small business and home users will be exempt. The new XP will only run server based applications, which will severely limit things like Office unless you’ve paid the server wide fees. The only things really included in the upgrade will be Internet Explorer and Media Player.

This new product will offer customers some new security options they didn’t have before, particularly if they’re running Windows95 or Windows98. This will update their security and give them access to patches they wouldn’t otherwise have. This is perhaps the best point about it and one customers requested according to Goffe.

The problem I guess I have is what abou the rest of us. Working in a retail store that sold computer products for a while, I can tell you most people don’t like to hear that their computer doesn’t work or it won’t run the printer they need for their children’s schoolwork. They don’t like to be told they need to spend $500 plus on a new computer and then they must buy the printer to support it too. It’s expensive. While many can certainly afford the stuff, they shouldn’t have to in the name of their children’s schoolwork.

What about small businesses? They buy a few refurbished computers maybe with Windows 98 or NT on them. No big deal. They’ve got 3 computers say. They need to upgrade for hardware AND software applications. 3 new computers will cost around $2000 or more. They’re trying to squeeze that dollar further. Microsoft is preventing them from doing his by so limiting this distribution and really the groups that will be able to use the product.

With Longhorn a few months away, Windows ME and Windows 2000 will be obsolete soon too. I suspect someone will need a fix for those. But I guess we run into the same problem all over again.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Microsoft Shuts Windows XP on Homes With Older PCs.
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