Microsoft announced today that it will be offering a low-cost version of its popular operating system Windows XP. This low-cost OS dubbed "Windows XP Starter Edition" will be available in October of this year. By continuing to work closely with foreign governments Microsoft has signed up not only five governments, but has also made very attractive deals. Three of the governments in question are Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The other two governments have yet to be officially announced, but some analysts believe it might be Brazil, Russia, or Jordan.
Windows XP Starter Edition was created to offer customers a lower cost operating system, combat software piracy, and to a lesser extent compete against open-source OSs like Linux. What makes this software so different? For starters Microsoft has taken out a lot of features that its regular Windows XP version offered. Users of Windows XP Starter Edition will have a maximum resolution of 800x600, no support for PC-to-PC home networking, sharing printers across a network, and limited to running three programs concurrently. To make up for this Microsoft will add features that represent reach country. Features such as country-specific wallpapers/screensavers, and better help documentation.
The main reason for the release of this OS is to cut down on piracy. Still why Microsoft thinks cutting out key features of its OS will help it compete against Linux is beyond me. Still by cutting this features Microsoft can offer a cheaper version of Windows, and from that gain new customers. Already Microsoft is offering deals with over 67 developing nations regarding its software. Deals that allow these nations free upgrades to Windows software, and for only $2.50 a copy of Office. Who knows maybe Microsoft is on the right track.
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