.NET Developments

Jan 2 2009   6:00AM GMT

Microsoft extends Windows XP availability, but layoffs on the horizon

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Here’s what we’ve been seeing around the Web…

Microsoft extended Windows XP‘s lifespan for OEMs who want to put it on low-end machines. Manufacturers have until the end of January to put in their orders, which can get them XP licenses through May. The move seems to support Windows-based netbooks, low-end laptops primarily designed for browsing the Internet, by letting those computers use the less resource-hungry XP.

But higher-end computers got to see a better glimpse of the future when a beta of Windows 7 was leaked. Torrents of Windows 7 started spreading late last week, but the leak may be good news for Microsoft: early reports say that Windows 7’s development is farther along than that of previous betas of its Windows line.

That may be cold comfort for the thousands of employees that may be cut if rumors of layoffs at Microsoft are true. About 15,000 jobs are on the line, and speculation is that the axe will come down on January 15, a week before the company’s second-quarter earnings report. Those would be Microsoft’s first round of layoffs ever.

On the development side, Microsoft said that the critical IE bug discovered in December was due to was due to improper training. The company also announced that it’s working on fixing a critical SQL Server vulnerability.

And the company was also the target of a patent lawsuit that claims that it, Apple and Google violated a Michigan company’s patent on file preview icons. One wonders if they saw it coming.

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