Dial N for Windows 'reduced'

It's the letter of the law

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Microsoft will brand the EU-antitrust-complaint version of Windows XP, "Windows XP [Home | Professional] N". Last year's provisional verdict from the Commission's antitrust division requires Microsoft to ship a version without Windows Media Player in the European Community.

Agreement comes at the tenth attempt. Microsoft had proposed calling this "Windows XP [Home | Professional] Reduced Media Edition". EU officials had rejected nine of Microsoft's earlier suggestions.

Microsoft maintains that this is wrong. The company says that it doesn't need a government mandate to produce a version of Windows that will confuse users, who discover that they can't play their media files as they could before. And it's quite correct, it doesn't. Microsoft is perfectly capable of producing a version of Windows that confuses users, who discover that they can't play their media files as before, entirely on its own.

These days, all versions of Mac OS X and Windows are "reduced media" editions by default.®

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