Microsoft Offers Windows Lite in Europe
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Those of you who have been playing along at home may be aware that Microsoft was called on the carpet in Europe on unfair competition charges. The claim was that by bundling Windows Media Player with Windows XP, Microsoft was gaining an unfair advantage over competing media players, such as Real Audio and Apple’s media products.

This may sound familiar to many, as it’s achingly similar to the browser wars which happened here in the U.S., where
America Online and others claimed that Microsoft had gained an unfair advantage by shipping Internet Explorer bundled with Windows. By bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, the charges went, other browsers such as Netscape, which is owned by AOL, never stood a fighting chance.


However, this is where all similarity ends, as the EU has decided that in fact the bundling of Windows Media Player with Windows XP does constitute unfair competition, and has ordered Microsoft to offer a Windows Media Player-less version of Windows to users in Europe.

Microsoft complied, and promptly dubbed the new media-challenged version “Windows XP Reduced Media Edition”.

Apparently this didn’t sit well with the European commission, who threatened Microsoft with additional penalties if they made the media-less version unattractive to European users.

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Said a Microsoft spokesperson “We had originally suggested a name, (Windows) XP Reduced Media Edition. While we believe that name is fully compliant (with the commission’s decision), in the spirit of compromise we have agreed to make a change in the name of the product.”

In the meantime, having won the browser wars, Microsoft is still allowed to sell their Windows XP Reduced Security Edition in the United States.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Microsoft Offers Windows Lite in Europe
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  1. In the meantime, having won the browser wars, Microsoft is still allowed to sell their Windows XP Reduced Security Edition in the United States. And you wonder why Americans let alone every one else feels the Department Of Justice is a joke. Goes to show ya if you have enough money, you can buy anything in the United States!

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