Microsoft Agrees to Changes to Windows XP Edition N

A day after publicly accepting the European Commission's suggestion for naming the European version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player, Microsoft announced some further measures to comply with commission requirements.

After the commission rejected Windows XP Reduced Media Edition and nine other suggested names for the operating system, Microsoft took the commission's suggested names of Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional Edition N.

On Tuesday, Microsoft said it is also accepting additional changes relating to the design and description of the versions of Windows without Media Player. Microsoft agreed to remove references in retail packaging that certain products won't work properly with the version of Windows and to change various registry settings.

Microsoft will also create a software package for reinstalling all the media files that the commission ordered Microsoft to remove. In a FAQ on its Web site, Microsoft claims the commission order applies to 186 files enabling end-user functionality and Windows Media Player platform functionality.

The commission first ordered Microsoft to make Windows XP available without Windows Media Player a year ago. The aim of the order was to restore competition in Europe for media players on PCs. The order accompanied a large fine and an order for Microsoft to license client-server communication protocols to competitors. The version was supposed to be released to manufacturers in 90 days. Microsoft actually provided code to PC makers in January, about six months after the deadline.

A Microsoft attorney said on Monday that the Edition N versions of Windows XP will be available in Europe in a few weeks. They will cost the same amount as versions of Windows XP with Windows Media Player.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.