The comptuter industry is seeing a huger growth in demand for ultra low cost computers, which some folks have dubbed "Nettops", as their primary function is to access Internet applications. These Nettops are generally built around alternative CPU designs that are not as powerful as the new high power processors from Intel and AMD, and they have less RAM than more traditional desktop machines.
But they do not need the horsepower, RAM and disk storage space, because they have a more casual use - browsing the web, listening to media, and using web applications. These devices are not capable of running the new Windows Vista, so their manufacturers have urged Microsoft to extend the availability of XP for these devices.
Microsoft had been resisting these requests, but has finally recognized that this trend towards Nettops is real, and that if they ignore the requests for XP, the vendors will switch to Linux. Many of the vendors already offer Linux versions of these devices,
Supposedly, Microsoft will limit the use of XP to these Nettop devices, and will not allow vendors to install XP on traditional desktops after the mid June 2008 cut-off date for sale of XP. It will be available on the Nettop until late 2010.