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Fifth Windows XP 'Lite' Country is India

Fast on the heels of its announcement that Russia would be the fourth of five countries in a pilot program of a low-cost, limited-functionality version of Windows XP, Microsoft named India as the fifth country.

The Windows XP Starter Edition will be available in India in early 2005, Microsoft said Wednesday. On Monday, the company set a similar timeframe for Russia.

Microsoft confirmed the existence of the much-anticipated program in August, with the announcement that the first three of the five countries in the pilot would be Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Starter Edition in India will come with a Hindi interface that includes Help and training in Hindi.

The low-cost editions give Microsoft a dual-edged weapon to combat piracy and open source alternatives in countries where low incomes make the Windows prices charged in North America and western Europe unrealistic.

On the other hand, the Starter Editions, intended for first-time users, come with substantial limitations. PC users can only have three programs and three windows per program running concurrently. The maximum screen resolution is 800x600, and there is no support for PC-to-PC home networking, sharing printers across a network or establishing more than one user account on a PC.

For more information on the competitive issues and challenges surrounding the Starter Edition, see Russia is Fourth Country for Windows XP Starter Edition.

About the Author

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

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