Who Cares About Windows XP N?

    November 27, 2005

CNET News: A major U.K. retail store and three of the largest PC vendors worldwide still have no plans to sell the version of Microsoft Windows that does not contain its media player, five months after the version was released.

Microsoft started offering Windows XP N, a version of Windows without a bundled media player, in June of this year to comply with last year’s antitrust ruling by the European Commission.

Slashdot reports that Windows XP N is a sales flop. Hardly surprising, and surely indicates that most people who use Windows really couldn’t care less about what the politicians and vocal critics in the mainstream media say and do regarding a PC operating system.

Dell is one of the PC vendors mentioned in CNET’s story. When I bought a new Dell computer in August, it came with Dell’s OEM version of Windows XP Pro which included Windows Media Player.

I don’t actually use Media Player, preferring Winamp and iTunes for playing and managing music. If Windows XP N minus Media Player had a cost advantage, then it might be different. But it doesn’t:

[…] Earlier this year, PC World–the U.K.’s largest computer store chain–said that it would not stock XP N since the full version of Windows XP was the same price, thereby offering a better value to its customers. A PC World representative said Thursday that this situation hasn’t changed and there had been “no demand” for XP N, as far as she was aware.

So do I care about this news and the EC ruling? Not at all. Which, I suspect, reflects what many other Windows users think.

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Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.