Cut-Rate Windows Named XP Starter Edition

Redmond decides to continue offering a cheap, stripped-down version of Windows to the Thai market in its efforts to stave off Linux.

Microsoft has decided on an official name—"Windows XP Starter Edition"—for the stripped-down, cut-rate version of Windows that it first began offering in Thailand last summer.

The NeoWin Windows enthusiast site mentioned the new name in a Web posting Wednesday.

Microsoft confirmed that Windows XP Starter Edition is indeed the new name for the Windows portion of the cut-rate Windows bundle it is offering to combat Linux in Thailand.

"Microsoft is very pleased to continue our work with the government of Thailand to deliver a tailored and localized Windows product that will help them in their efforts to enable access to technology for their citizens," a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement.

"Thailand government Prime Minister Thaksin shared in his morning radio show [on June 19 that] this latest version was especially designed for beginners."

Microsoft interviewed 1,000 customers who obtained the stripped-down Windows/Office bundle under the auspices of the Thai governments "People PC" project, the Microsoft spokesman said. These users found the software "very user-friendly" and "easy to understand," he said.

Last summer, in response to the success Linux was having in the Thai marketplace, Microsoft began offering Thai citizens a localized bundle of Microsoft Windows XP Home and Office XP Standard.

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. Microsoft Windows XP Home sells at retail for $225; Office XP Standard retails for $499.

This past spring, Microsoft officials said they would decide whether to continue offering the combination based on customer feedback.


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