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EU balks at Windows Reduced Edition

End User Multimedia Functionality? That's what you told us to do!

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The EU has scotched the name Microsoft had planned for the unbundled versions of Windows that it must ship in Europe as result of last year's antitrust decree.

Microsoft had planned to call the products, both of which include a third-party replacement for its own Media Player, Windows XP Home Reduced Media Edition and Windows XP Professional Reduced Media Edition. BetaNews first reported the cheeky new moniker in November, and Microsoft confirmed it on January 12, in a statement, which also lists the 186 files that RME won't include. Less than half of these are executables or shared libraries - the rest are skins or sample files.

The list is in an appendix headed "End User Multimedia Functionality", which Microsoft is clearly taking extremely literally.

The ruling presents a big opportunity for Real Networks, Apple and AOL to ink their own deals with European PC OEMs, although there's no word yet of any major relationships.

So, contrary to the more pessimistic expectations, the EU's antitrust division has kicked off the year in feisty fashion. Last week it reminded Redmond that it could impose a daily fine of as much as $5m if the company continues to drag its feet over implementing the interim penalties imposed last May.

And just before Christmas, Judge Bo Vesterdorf dismissed Microsoft's intellectual property defense in some style.

We can't confirm rumors that the name Windows XP Home Edition YBS (or "Yah Boo Sucks") was considered before being rejected. ®

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