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Microsoft offers cut-price cut-down Windows to Russians

Almost as cheap as a pirated copy

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Microsoft will start selling its cut-price, cut-down version of Windows in Russia from early next year. Windows XP Starter Edition goes on sale in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand next month.

According to the Business Software Alliance, 89 per cent of Russian software is pirated, compared to a worldwide average of 39 per cent. Windows XP Starter Edition is aimed at the first-time user. It is pre-configured and has improved help functions with a more detailed Getting Started section. The firewall is switched on and the software includes country-specific pictures and screensavers.

The software is only available on an OEM basis to PC manufacturers - so Russian punters will have to buy a new PC to get the benefits .

A fifth market for cut-downs will be announced in a few weeks. There is more info here on the Microsoft website. ®

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