Is Microsoft planning to release more customized, cut-rate versions of Windows to help stave off Linux's encroachment, especially outside the U.S.? The answer is ... maybe.
Recent reports sounded too good to be true: Was Microsoft developing a Windows XP Lite, designed to go head-to-head with Linux on the desktop? And, indeed, it proved to be too good and mostly untrue after discussing the issue with Microsoft officials.
However, dont rule out Microsoft expanding its program to sell stripped-down versions of older flavors of Windows and Office to countries where Microsofts current prices seem exorbitant.
Last summer, in response to the success that Linux was having in the Thai marketplace, Microsoft began offering Thai citizens a bundle of Microsoft Windows XP Home and Office XP Standard. Under the auspices of the Thai governments "People PC" project, Microsoft provided a Thai-localized version of its operating system and desktop suite.
As part of the deal, Microsoft also stripped out some unspecified features from both products and slashed the price for the pair to 1,500 Thai Baht, or about $38 U.S. Microsoft Windows XP Home sells at retail for $225; Office XP Standard retails for $499.
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