Microsoft is in a difficult position. Windows Vista is not getting the adoption rate that they wanted but Windows XP will not die and go away. The folks in Redmond have put an “end of licensing life” on XP numerous times and due to the inability to convince folks that Vista is all that they’ve had to keep extending the licensing of XP to keep OEMs and customers happy.
The latest deadline for licensing XP was January 31 of next year but Microsoft has now extended that until May 30. This is largely due to the hot sales of netbooks which are moving with XP in huge numbers and no doubt this has played a major role in this latest extension.
I suspect that Microsoft will have to continue licensing XP to OEMs for netbooks until Windows 7 is released since Vista doesn’t run very well on less capable computers. In the end Microsoft wins since they are becoming the primary OS on netbooks. This is why they have taken great pains to show early on that Windows 7 runs better on netbooks than Vista.