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Windows Minus Media Player Not Big Seller - 6/23/2005 8:10:58 AM   

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In Microsoft's new operating system — Windows XP N — the "N" stands for "Not with Media Player." But it might as well stand for "No Thanks." PC makers and distributors are holding back from buying the new alternative version of Windows XP that Europe's competition commissioner ordered Microsoft Corp. to offer as part of the punishment in the software maker's long antitrust battle with the European Union.

Windows XP N was released to distributors last week in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and will be available to the public in the next few weeks. Versions in 10 additional languages will be released in July.

The world's largest software maker had to change its Windows operating system after EU antitrust regulators ruled last year that it abusively wielded its Windows monopoly and locked out competitors. Microsoft was fined a record euro497 million ($608 million).

But computer distributors and manufacturers are so far showing little interest in the new product, which compels consumers to choose their media player and download it from the Internet.

And that raises questions over the effectiveness of the media player component of the antitrust ruling.

"We don't see any interest at all in the product for the consumer," said Lionel Jarlan, computer buyer at France's Fnac department store chain. Fnac will be testing the product in a limited range of stores. They are expecting a first delivery at the beginning of July.


Source : Yahoo News
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