Windows XP N Stands for 'No Sales'

A senior Microsoft official in the United Kingdom confirmed this week that no computer manufacturers took up the option to install Windows XP N, the operating system Microsoft created in response to the European Commission decision against it.

Windows XP N is a version of Windows that is unbundled from Windows Media Player. The EC decision prohibited Microsoft from charging more for the stripped-down operating system -- Microsoft listed the product for the same price as the full version of Windows XP.

In addition to confirming that no computer manufacturers had adopted the product since its launch four years ago, Microsoft's UK managing director Alistair Baker acknowledged that retailers were also unenthusiastic about stocking the new version of Windows.

“I don’t know if it’s true to say [retailers] haven’t bought any (but) I’d be very surprised if we’ve sold any,” Baker was quoted as saying in The Times of London.

The European Commission intended for the Windows XP N edition to correct what it viewed as an unfair distribution advantage for Windows Media Player over Real and QuickTime players. After haggling over everything from terms to the name of the operating system, Microsoft released the N edition more than a year after the EC handed down its decision.

The commission continues to monitor Microsoft's implementation of its orders.

About the Author

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


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