Microsoft Goes Big Brother on Low-Cost PC Makers Using XPS

According to confidential documents obtained by IDG News, Microsoft plans to issue a list of demands incentive-backed requests to ultra low-cost PC (ULPC) makers interested in Windows XP, such as Asus and OLPC, asking that their screens are smaller than 10.2 inches, hard drives are under 80 GB and touchscreens are not used. In addition, they want these computers to have less than 1 GB RAM and a processor under 1 GHz (except for the Intel Atom). In exchange for manufacturers' cooperation, Microsoft will offer them WIndows XP Home for a price between $26-$32, contingent on the region it's sold in.

Developing and third-world countries will pay $26 per XP license, while developed nations will pay $32 per license. While this request does not seem to be a strict mandate, It looks like Microsoft is trying to curb the use of Linux, and prevent the smaller, cheaper computers from stealing market share from their bigger, Vista-equipped counterparts. I'm curious how this will affect those who choose not to participate, and make XP machines to their own specifications. [PC World via Electronista]