Brazil: The Next Windows vs. Linux Battleground?

Brazil, a country whose government is unabashedly in favor of open source, is set to become Microsoft's next target for its entry-level Windows XP Starter Edition.

Can a cheap, stripped-down version of Windows derail the momentum of open-source software? Microsoft Corp. is hoping it can.

Microsoft is poised to introduce its entry-level Windows XP Starter Edition product in Brazil, according to published reports coming out of that country this week.

The Brazilian government has been a vocal advocate of open-source software. Many government agencies there have been migrating to Linux, citing cost savings as the impetus.

Microsoft officials demonstrated this week in Brazil a Portugese-language-optimized version of Windows XP that was stripped down to run on less-powerful processors, according to Marcelo Nóbrega, technology editor with the fourth largest Brazilian newspaper, Jornal do Brasil. Microsoft officials said they are bringing the Starter Edition product to Brazil, Nobrega said, but did not specify the exact timing.

Microsoft officials did not respond to questions on the companys Starter Edition plans for Brazil by the time this article was published.

Once Brazil is added to the Starter Edition roster, Microsoft will have launched locally-optimized versions of the product in six countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, India and Brazil.

Microsoft officials have made no bones about their quest to increase Windows sales by discovering untapped markets and creating new form factors. The Windows XP Reloaded marketing campaign, of which XP Starter Edition is one component, is part of this initiative.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead the full story on Microsoft Watch: Brazil: The Next Windows vs. Linux Battleground?

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.