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European Windows Called 'Windows XP Home Edition N'

Microsoft and the European Commission settled on names for the version of Windows XP stripped of the Windows Media Player-- Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional Edition N.

The name was suggested by the European Commission and accepted by Microsoft after the commission rejected 10 suggestions from Microsoft, including Microsoft's initial offering, "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition."

"We have some misgivings about the chosen name, as we fear it may cause confusion for consumers about the product, but we will adopt the commission's name in order to move forward and accelerate the pace of the implementation process," Microsoft's top lawyer in Europe Horacio Gutierrez told the Reuters news service Monday.

Gutierrez said public sales of Edition N will begin "in a matter of weeks." The version will only be available in Europe.

Microsoft has come under intense criticism from commission and other critics who have suggested Microsoft has engaged in obstructionist behavior in its response to the commission's orders against it last year.

In addition to the order to produce a version of Windows without the bundled media player, the commission's ruling included a 497 million Euro fine, which Microsoft paid immediately, and an order to license protocols to allow server vendors to communicate with Windows clients. Complaints have arisen about Microsoft's handling of the protocol licensing program in Europe. The commission's ruling followed a five-year investigation into complaints of anti-competitive practices by the software giant.

About the Author

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

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