EU Forces Stupid Name On Microsoft: XP N

    March 28, 2005

The official name of XP sold in European markets is Windows XP Home Edition N. The “N” stands for … now get this … “not with media player”.

I saw a blog post that pretty much says it all and illustrates what I think is a growing anger at the EU by American’s.

Here is the post by Jessica at the imconfused blog:

The EU makes asinine rules

So, Microsoft is releasing a special version of Windows XP for the European Union market, called XP N. The difference between this version and the one we buy here in the U.S. is that N does not come with Windows Media Player preinstalled (N stands for “not with media player,” according to MSNBC. Microsoft was forced by the EU to release this version because they felt that (once again, according to MSNBC):

the company abusively wielded its Windows software monopoly to lock competitors out of the market.

The EU ordered Microsoft to offer consumers an MP-less version, compatible with other competitor software, such as Real Player, to allow consumers to decide which media player they wanted to use.

Um, as opposed to the regular version? Because, I can install other media players willy-nilly, actually, with no problems whatsoever, except as those players may be badly written.

Are Europeans too afraid to install other players with WMP present? Are they too stupid to change their file associations, even though whenever you install a new media player it kindly asks you whether it may take over all your existing associations? Too lazy to install other players when a reasonably good one is already there? And if it’s any of those, how is that Microsoft’s fault? I honestly don’t understand how it’s a problem that WMP is included with Windows operating systems. It absolutely does not interfere with a user’s freedom of choice of media player.

This imposition on Microsoft is really absolutely ludicrous.

Visit the imconfused blog

Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.

Rich also publishes his blog WebProBlog which focuses on internet business and marketing trends.