Stop us if you've heard this one before: Microsoft won't play along nicely with the EU's antitrust remedies. Today's story involves the release of a separate version of Windows XP sans Windows Media Player, aka Windows XP N -- the N stands for Not With Media Player. The name is actually an improvement, as Microsoft originally named it Windows XP Reduced Media Edition (perhaps Windows XP Crummier Version didn't do well in focus groups). The EU nixed the name realizing the effect it would have on sales, so what does Microsoft do? They price it exactly the same as the version that includes the media player. Now computer makers and distributors are refraining from offering the new version on computers and in stores. You mean, people won't be clamoring for an XP bundle that costs the same as and contains fewer products than the original? Granted, Microsoft has a knack for tweaking regulators, but you'd think that EU bureaucrats would have at least figured this one out ahead of time.
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