Monday, March 28, 2005

What's in an "N"?

The mighty Microscof has groaned and given forth a mouse, in the form of a new name for its stripped-down version of Windows XP, demanded by the all-powerful EU commission.

But, instead of going for the obvious, its newly-emasculated product is to be called "Windows XP Home Edition N".

The new name represents a small step in Microscof's long battle with the commission, which last year ruled the software giant had abused the near-monopoly of Windows to crush competition, fined it nearly €500 million ($650 million), and ordered it to change its business practices.

The commission also ordered Microscof to sell a version of Windows without its Windows Media Player audiovisual software but, up to press, there has been no agreement on a name for the revised product.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microscof's top lawyer in Europe, says the names "Windows XP Home Edition N" and "Windows XP Professional Edition N" were suggested by the commission after it rejected 10 suggestions by Microscof, including their first choice, "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition."

We would dearly love to know what the other nine suggestions were, and whether one at least has the initials "F" and "O". As to what the "N" stands for is anyone’s guess – "neutered" perhaps, "non-functional", or what?

Suggestions in the "comments" section please, and keep them clean.

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