Very recently my old laptop started giving me a world of problems ranging from minor software to rather serious hardware issues. For a three year old laptop it just didn’t make sense to fix it, so I decided to take the leap and buy a replacement.

I originally had hoped on finding something with Windows XP, and the only new machine I could find with XP was through Dell – my now dead laptop was a Dell, so I decided to pass and jumped over to a Toshiba running Vista.

Surprisingly thus far I like Vista, and it has only given me a few correctable & minor inconveniences. Of course, only after purchasing the new machine did I read that Microsoft has again opened the doors to selling Windows XP, and it will be made available on “Ultra Low Cost” Notebooks and PC’s.

It seems that Microsoft, in the wake of so many complaints about Vista, and so many people wanting new machines with XP, has decided to extend its availability, and manufacturers are able to produce and sell XP based systems, possibly until June 2010. Microsoft has officially stated that technical support will still be available for Windows XP until at least 2014, giving you a solid 6 years of life left using XP.

The catch is, XP will only be made available on these new “Ultra Low Cost” systems, which are limited by CPU speed and screen size, so if you want that high power machine, you better keep thinking Vista.

If you are one of those users in need of a new machine but are holding off due to distaste for Vista, you do have options. According to an article published today at InfoWorld, Asus will have machines available with XP until June 2010, and manufacturers such as Dell and HP will have “downgraded” XP systems available until Jan 31, 2009 and July 30 2009 respectively.

If you plan on purchasing a custom built PC from a local shop, January 31, 2009 is the last date that XP will be available.

Personally, all this seems kind of strange. If so many customers are complaining about Windows Vista, and want to purchase Windows XP, why not sell it to them? I can understand the desire to move forward, but with such a high demand on a product, it only seems to make sense to continue offering and profiting off of it – at least until ALL the bugs are worked out with Vista. Hmm, has there ever been a ‘bug free’ Microsoft product?