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Windows Operating Systems Software

Windows XP N a Bust 310

Posted by Zonk
from the new-version-of-vanilla dept.
mushupork writes "CNN has an interesting article about the just-released Windows XP N. From the article: 'Computer distributors and manufacturers are so far showing little interest in the new product, which compels consumers to choose their media player and download it from the Internet.' Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?" Similar to an earlier article about the same issue from the PC Makers end.
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Windows XP N a Bust

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  • regurgitated (Score:3, Informative)

    by That's Unpossible! (722232) * on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:31PM (#12904832)
    sounds familiar [slashdot.org]
  • Why would it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XanC (644172) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:31PM (#12904834)
    Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    Why would it? I think it'll open their eyes to how much "good" Microsoft's bundling does for them.

    • Putting the letter "N" on the label is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of.

      Msfts lawyers must have been laughing their heads off when this "punishment" was handed down.
    • Re:Why would it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IHateSlashDot (823890) on Friday June 24, 2005 @06:47PM (#12905416)
      Exactly!

      "We'll continue to sell the old version because it's obviously better value for our customers,"

      The 'N' version was released due to a poorly thought out EU lawsuit. It turns out that no-one wants the new version of XP. They'd rather have the old one that the EU tried so hard to get rid of.

      Shows you how out of touch with reality the EU is.

      Sorry, you can't use this as a poster child for open source.

      • Re:Why would it? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300) *
        If the EU had Microsoft unbounded IE it would be a different story. Without IE you have a more secure system by default. Because most of the virus out there use the fact the browser is integrated into the OS as a quick and easy way to access the system.
        • Re:Why would it? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by IntlHarvester (11985)
          OEMs would never purchase an IE-less Windows either, primarily because it would be incompatibile with nearly every modern Windows application (both MS and 3rd party).
  • I doubt it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:31PM (#12904839) Homepage Journal
    Why would the (lack of) avilability of a media player influence my OS decision?
    • Typical /. (Score:5, Funny)

      by fbg111 (529550) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:40PM (#12904912)
      Humpty-dumpty sat on a wall and had a great fall. Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?
      • New meme? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:44PM (#12904945)

        Humpty-dumpty sat on a wall and had a great fall. Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

        This could be the next slashdot meme.

        Step 1. Repeat the headline

        Step 2. Append "Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?".

        Example: New Independent Lego Journal Launches. Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by defkkon (712076) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:41PM (#12904924)
      Now if you (a slashdot reader/poster) is saying this, imagine what the average joe user is thinking?

      I'm not surprised there is little interest in this. Many manufacturers realize what their customers care about - after all, that's why they're still in business.

      You ask the average person whether they want Windows XP with or without Media Player to allow a free choice, and they'll probably look at you like you have two heads.

      Why? They don't care! They hardly care what OS they have PERIOD. All they want is for their office applications to work, for their email application to work, and their web browser to work.

      Not only do they not care, but the moment they try to listen to an audio file or watch a video, they're going to be pissed that their computer "can't do it" out of the box.

    • Re:I doubt it (Score:3, Insightful)

      by loconet (415875)
      See, what I find interesting is that I'm sure the poster _also_ knows the sole availability of a media player is a highly unlikely influence when choosing an OS but for some reason I have noticed that it is trendy (necessary?) to plug a pro-Linux/OSS comment somewhere in a /. article summary even if it is far fetched as this one.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not too hapy with Microsoft actions sometimes either and as a developer, I use Linux/OSS whenever I see it fit because of its technical and non-technical v
    • Re:I doubt it (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gooogle (643307)
      > Why would the (lack of) avilability of a media player influence my OS decision?

      It would influence your decision on the OS versions: N vs XP. I don't think anyone would want a degraded eXPerience when they can get the OS bundled with Media Player.
      • XP Home vs XP Pro is all the degradation I need.

        What I would be interested into is XP Pro Lite - only the OS and core GUI/management stuff with no multimedia junk beyond volume controls... I hate the way XP's setup simply installs practically everything, no questions asked. (Who actually uses the 50MB Windows Movie Maker?)
    • Why would the (lack of) avilability of a media player influence my OS decision?

      I know I gave Linux distros the cold sholder because they made it hard to play MP3's. Yes, you could get it to work, but heck - I'm lazy! Sometimes it can be something that mickey mouse....
  • Only alternative? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moz25 (262020) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:32PM (#12904848) Homepage
    Would there be a point in ordering that the N version is the only one allowed to be sold in Europe? Obviously, there won't be much interest in a stripped down version of the same product, especially if the old product is still available.
    • I always thought this was the case. What is the point of enforcing something, if you let the person carry on with the illegal activity at the same time?
  • answers.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mad_Rain (674268)
    Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    No. Next question?
    • I think the answer's more than just "No". It involves explaining to the Slashdot crowd that while most of us enjoy finding out new things and solving problems with our computers, the vast majority of the public has a love/hate relationship with computers.

      I've installed several distros on my Compaq Presario 900Z laptop, which anyone who's tried to install Linux on a laptop knows can be a nightmare. I did this because I enjoy working through problems like that. Normal people, say 95% of the population, wo

  • Media Player? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by turtled (845180) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:33PM (#12904855)
    which compels consumers to choose their media player and download it from the Internet.' Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?"

    I didn't think the media player was the onlything keeping users of Windows XP or any version. To me, it is compatability with current programs such as Office and Adobe products, and there are attractive alternatives. Media players? Eh, there are 100s of media players for all platforms, it's not that big of deal.
    • Re:Media Player? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800)
      In any case, there's also Windows XP *with* WMP, available for the same price. I don't think the submitter realizes that, but his notion that people will switch operating systems (or hardware platforms!) rather than download a media player underscores why no consumer with an ounce of sanity would buy Windows XP N.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Telastyn (206146) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:33PM (#12904856)
    Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    Huh? Why would the fact that people are not interested in choosing their software package push people towards linux, where that unwanted feature is commonplace!??!
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by forgoil (104808) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:53PM (#12905031) Homepage
      Exactly. People who want a different browser/mediaplayer/whatever is going to get it anyway. Those who don't give a shit about these things (lets face it, they aren't computergeeks such as we are) are only going to say "why the fuck can't I play videos now?" and don't care at all that there are other players out there.

      People wants the bundled stuff, they are just happy that they don't have to call their computer geek friends to read email or watch some porn^H^H^H^Hmovies. This is just a pain to normal users, and doesn't change windows. Tax payers money badly spent, again. Could have spent all that money on, let's say, universities that could have produced free software...
  • by ewhac (5844) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:34PM (#12904865) Homepage Journal
    Hmm. Maybe the OEMs could -- gee, I don't know -- pre-install a media player of their choice. I seem to recall a big criminal lawsuit a while back when OEMs wanted to pre-install this newfangled thing called a Web browser, but Microsoft wouldn't let them.

    Did the OEMs suddenly lose all their imagination? Or are there not as many "partership" opportunities with media players?

    Schwab

    • And don't forget when Microsoft sold space on the desktop to those who wanted their products preplaced there.
    • Personally I'd rather have Microsoft's choice as my default than have the alternatives.

      What are the alternatives? Companies are going to pay Dell to be the default media player. Because they're paying to be a free product, you know there's a hook.

      Would you rather have a free Microsoft media player, or a free RealPlayer that's going to remind you what a better experience you could be getting with the upgrade player every time you want to play some media?

      At least, thanks to the amount of scrutiny Microso
  • ARGH! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235)
    It's not about CHOOSING which version of Windows you prefer.
    It's about The users HAVING TO CHOOSE which software they download.

    And if they complain "hey, this doesn't include media player!", you can answer: "It's illegal for monopoly". Then they'll be FORCED to choose and download a product. Yes, sounds sad, but Microsoft FORCED them not to choose in the same way.

    The XP N idea won't work if the old version is still available. Doh.
    • Yes, sounds sad, but Microsoft FORCED them not to choose in the same way.

      Gee, that's funny. In the same vein as which you speak, Ubuntu "forced" me to use Totem, and OS X "forced" me to use Quicktime.
      How terribly awful. Let's take pitchforks to their respective HQs and demand action!

      What does it matter that MS bundles Windows Media Player? I mean, seriously, for the love of god, who really cares? There are so many more things to worry about or to take a critical eye at than something as trivial as a
      • Let me explain it again:

        MS has a monopoly on desktop operating systems. That means that they are not allowed to use their monopoly to their advantage to get into other markets. By including WMP with XP, they are using their monopoly to push the Windows Media format, and their Media Player (with whatever THEY decide to support) onto the majority of computers, giving them a massively unfair advantage against Real and anybody else.

        It's quite obvious why this has happened.
        • So all Windows users should suffer with an operating system that can't by default playback common media files?
          Windows users should be forced into buying an alternative media player? I'm sure you think Windows shouldn't have a web browser either.
          Honestly as far as I'm concerned I think playback of data files should be a component of any modern OS. As for Real, if they hadn't lost my faith by forcing completely crappy products down my throat I might care. I personally have decided against viewing any Real fil
          • So all Windows users should suffer with an operating system that can't by default playback common media files?

            Depends what you mean by 'by default'. When you install Windows, or any other OS, it's pretty useless without some software to go with it, because an OS is merely a container for software. All I'm suggesting is that as well as installing for example Nero, the user should install a media player, or at least have WMP come on a seperate CD, and be fully uninstallable.

            I'm sure you think Windows shou
      • You're not "forced" to use Totem. It's there by default in the install, and if you don't like it you can apt-get remove totem and it is gone. Same with Quicktime - want to replace it with something else? Then uninstall it and do so.

        You are "forced" to use Windows Media Player. It's there at the beginning, and you can't uninstall it or its libraries, because they're tied in with various other components in the OS. Not to mention that MS is a monopoly and does this illegally. That's the differenced between b
        • You are "forced" to use Windows Media Player. It's there at the beginning, and you can't uninstall it or its libraries, because they're tied in with various other components in the OS. Not to mention that MS is a monopoly and does this illegally. That's the differenced between being "forced" to have it and not.

          Then what would make much more sense to me, is if the EU had forced MS to release a version of Windows in which WMP could be completely uninstalled while still maintaining a functioning system... th
    • " It's not about CHOOSING which version of Windows you prefer.
      It's about The users HAVING TO CHOOSE which software they download.

      And if they complain "hey, this doesn't include media player!", you can answer: "It's illegal for monopoly". Then they'll be FORCED to choose and download a product. Yes, sounds sad, but Microsoft FORCED them not to choose in the same way.

      The XP N idea won't work if the old version is still available. Doh."

      That is the dumbest thing I've heard in awhile. Lack of bundling only he
    • by Arker (91948)
      Particularly when it's being sold for the exact same price. Now if people could save money on it...
    • Re:ARGH! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Khuffie (818093) on Friday June 24, 2005 @07:19PM (#12905637) Homepage
      Apple bundles iTunes and Quicktime with OS X. Does this not "stiffle innovation" nd decrease competition in the Mac market? In fact, there's a serious lack of a decent alternative to iTunes for OS X: ie an regular good ol' winamp-like MP3 player, and a lack of a decent alternative to Quicktime (VLC doesn't count, im talking things like Zoom Player).

      On the Windows front, there's a whole wackload of alternatives for Windows Media Player that goes on and on and on. In that respect, there's no decent photo viewer other than iPhoto (Picasa is there for PC), no decent consumer video editor other than iMovie (plenty for PC) and so on and so forth. No one has competed with Apple on this front. Why? Because it's their by default? Why isn't Apple getting sued?

      Ya ya, because Apple is not a "monopoly" you say. But guess what? If Microsoft was *forced* to strip Windows Media Player/Internet Explorer/MSN Messenger and all their other additions, then why shouldn't Apple be forced to strip Quicktime/Safari/iChat/iPhoto/iMovie/iTunes from OS X? After all, it would give them an unfair advantage. They can start marketing that they have all these great features right out of the box while Windows only comes with Notepad.

      Suffice to say Microsoft is doing absolutely nothing to stop others from installing other browsers/media players or whatever people want. So Real Player has every opportunity to gather attention, and in fact their player used to be quite popular. Then it started to be spyware ridden, over-bloated interface and horribly slow player, and they lost it.

  • No.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:35PM (#12904872) Homepage
    It's because XP-N was the wrong "punishment" to inflict on MSFT.

    People like getting free stuff bundled with things that they buy. At worst, don't use WMP and download something else.

    When you force the removal of the free media player as a court decision, it's the consumers who feel punished. Now they have to go out of their way to get a media player.

    What would have been a better punishment for Microsoft would have been forcing them to open up their APIs and documentation, publish their source code, or split the company up into competing units, or revoke their license to do business.
    • "What would have been a better punishment for Microsoft would have been forcing them to open up their APIs and documentation, publish their source code, or split the company up into competing units, or revoke their license to do business."

      Fascist.
      • Actually, you used the wrong epithet.

        You should have called him a communist.

        Fascist is when individuals/corporations control government to the detriment of the general population which is the current situation in the US.

        • "Fascist is when individuals/corporations control government to the detriment of the general population which is the current situation in the US."

          They're really the same in practical terms. If govt. and industry are comingled, that's another way of saying govt. runs industry (or as you put it industry runs govt.). When govt. and industry comingle, those with govt. connections get their businesses and their special favors for their businesses, and those without suffer. So it's really the same as socialism,
    • Re:No.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekee (591277)
      "What would have been a better punishment for Microsoft would have been forcing them to open up their APIs and documentation, publish their source code, or split the company up into competing units, or revoke their license to do business."

      Actually, how would the EU accomplish this, invade America? I think MS would abandon Europe's business before agreeing to split up their company or publish source. You might get an agreement on APIs?
  • by tod_miller (792541) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:35PM (#12904875) Journal
    No it just means people don't ask, and companies don't want to be seen as giving the 'reduced version'. People don't understand this, and as far as I am concerned, the whole problem with Microsoft and its abuse was cut down to some fairy arguments, and then those were made to stick.

    It does a lot worse things.

    Anyway, show me a linux distro aimed at home users whose default install doesn't have mp3/ogg/xmms etc.

    Happy microsoft got slammed? Yes. Give a shit about the hole XP N thing? No.

    Will it open people eyes? No, because form their perspective nothign has changed, unless you meant the distributors, who work on supply and demand, and will start taking space away from their m^2 floors as and when it will be profitable to do so.

    Right now, they don't see it. Now the price of hardware is exacerbating the percentage of cost that goes to an OS, *that* might make a difference.

    Tallyho.
  • Red Herring (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ndansmith (582590) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:36PM (#12904879)
    Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    I doubt that. The article says: "We'll continue to sell the old version because it's obviously better value for our customers," said Gina Jones, spokeswoman for PC World, Britain's leading PC retailer.. In other words, this is a battle between the new and old versions of XP. For the same price, which would you rather buy? The one that comes with the free media player or the one that does not have a media and forces to user to have an internet connection and download a player just to play CDs? I am guessing that most Europeans will look at the two products and choose conventional XP, without evening looking down the Mac aisle.

  • People aren't interested in a Windows without a media player - it was the competing businesses who were complaining.
  • by Stick_Fig (740331) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:37PM (#12904888) Homepage
    So, Microsoft has a monopoly on a portion of the market. Let's force them, after they've already created this monopoly due to unfair business practices, to undo it through a third product nobody will buy.

    Wastes your time in mind. Why would anyone buy a product with less in it when there's already an established product with more, when the more is really shitty? Tell me. I want to know.

    The EU's decision, let's face it, was really fucking stupid and will do no good for anyone. Perhaps, instead, they should've done something more crippling, like take out Media Player in EVERY version and force people to download it. But no, that would hurt Microsoft more than not at all.

    • it is a waste. perhaps a better solution would be to have your pal and mine, clippy pop up during the first 5 launches of -replaceable program here - and say... ...'you know, there are other programs that do this, should i google "media players" now?'
    • "The EU's decision, let's face it, was really fucking stupid and will do no good for anyone. Perhaps, instead, they should've done something more crippling, like take out Media Player in EVERY version and force people to download it. But no, that would hurt Microsoft more than not at all."

      How the fuck would that benfit consumers? Im sick of morons getting modded up for anti-MS FUD. Oh my God, the world's going to collapse because MS can bundle a media player with their OS.
      • "I'm sick of morons getting modded up for anti-oil baron FUD. Oh my God, the world's gonna collapse because James D. Rockefeller is sucking up all the oil."

        Does this sound pathetic and wrong to you? Because it does to me. And this mindset is what we're running into here.

        Parent, get off your high horse and see that this decision needed to be made because we've gone far too long acting as if MS is invincible to the court of law, and instead of making decisions that damage MS as much as MS damaged Netscap

  • Surprise? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NFNNMIDATA (449069)
    XP N is supposed to be a bust. MS doesn't want you to buy the version some government made them create. They want it to die a quiet death after it serves its purpose of compliance.
  • by cloudturtle (260857) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:42PM (#12904931)
    I'm not one to back M$, especially around here, but this whole Windows N thing just seems stupid. The EU doesn't like Media Player being coupled with the OS, so they make MS release a version of the OS sans MP, BUT then they still allow the old version to be sold AND they are the same price.

    I don't know, maybe i have taken too many Econ classes, but this seems like it is a horribly inefficient punishment that will solve absolutely nothing -- hell it won't even give them those warm fuzzies you get from doing the right thing because it isn't the right thing.

    The bottom line is that no rational consumer -- TFA mentioned like 2 people that this would not apply to -- would buy this version of windows. Sorry EU but you really missed the boat (or chunnel as it may be) on this one.
  • by Thunderstruck (210399) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:45PM (#12904965)
    Perhaps we're looking at this the wrong way. The point of forcing an alternative offering is to prevent lock-in to certain software and media types. If I still used windows, I'd feel compelled to pick up a copy of N and use it purely to maintain my own personal dignity. At least then I could say I didn't PAY for WMP.

    And let is encourage our windows using friends to do likewise.

    • Seriously, if your dignity is somehow attached to an OS, program or any other technology you really have some issues. Why do people treat things like this as a personal insult? It's business, pure and simple. If anyone thinks IBM or HP or any other company is embracing Linux for any warm and fuzzy reasons you are delusional. It's about the bottom line and making the right business choices.
      • Issues indeed. If I go around telling my friends that WMP is a horrible program, a dangerous and sneaky system to get DRM into a computer, or just plain ugly, it would be intellectually dishonest for me to pay for a copy of it. It may be business for the vendors, but it's going to run on my Personal computer.

        Whether other people are buying a copy of XP that includes WMP at the same price is no concern of mine.

      • If anyone thinks IBM or HP or any other company is embracing Linux for any warm and fuzzy reasons you are delusional.

        Quite right. Corporations that delude themselves about profit are dangerously susceptible to more hard-headed competitors.

        If there's going to be any delusional thinking about embracing Linux for warm and fuzzy reasons, it's up to motivated volunteers to delude themselves.

        -kgj
  • It's too early to draw conclusions, but this would point to a conclusion 'customers gripe, but happy enough with Microsoft product' given the freedom to choose.

    * So now above someone is already mentioning a totalitarian and roughly monopolistic response of "make the choice between XPs illegal, make only the N- version available! Then customers can't buy it!"

    * Yeah, we see involving the government in software is *all* about increasing freedom. meh.

    * More to the point, if retailers aren't buying into -N, t
  • I don't know why people think this is hurting MS.

    I seem to remember that MS was forced to offer a version without all the bundled goodies, and MS said that nobody would want it because customers want the free stuff.

    The EU forces them to do it anyway, Microsoft complies, and then they're proven right because nobody wants to buy the stripped down version for the same price.

    It's pointless, really. Just a technicality.
  • People like Windows Media player because it's convinient. For the average user they want to be able to play music right out of the box without having to go around installing other software. People simply don't have the patience to search for and then install software especially with all the spyware around these days (that's not to say they won't do it...but they'd prefer not to).
    It's standard procedure to download Real Media and websites help people through the process and let them know exactly what they
  • by Pac (9516)
    "To complete your installation you MUST now choose a media player from the list bellow. ...
    Important release note: due to Windows Media Player being an integral part of the OS, choosing other media player may make your computer instable or unusable."

  • Don't give distributors and consumers a choice. This is about unbundling Windows Media technology from Windows. If this is to be effective, it has to be mandatory.

    Customers can still download all the media player software they want either from Microsoft, Real or QuickTime or whatever other sites.

    Christian
    • "Don't give distributors and consumers a choice. This is about unbundling Windows Media technology from Windows. If this is to be effective, it has to be mandatory.

      Customers can still download all the media player software they want either from Microsoft, Real or QuickTime or whatever other sites.

      Christian"

      While we're at it, lets make Linux illegal. Clearly giving away software to get people hooked is an antitrust violation. It amazing how people who claim to believe in freedom turn into fascists the min
    • so screw the consumer to punish microsoft. that makes a lot of sense. the whole point of TFA is that no one wants XP N. Oh, wait,I forgot, consumers are too stupid to know what they want.
    • I thought of that too, then I started thinking of ways that Microsoft could make it not work.

      Say that Microsoft just sell Windows, and don't bundle anything by default. Hooray! XP N was meant to help distributors bundle their own media player, instead of WMP. Now, Windows can ship PearBrowse and BananaPlayer, and people who want those can be all happy.

      But all MS has to say is "Bundle IE and WMP, or we'll take away your Windows selling licence" and they have no choice but to comply to continue selling Wind
  • Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    How in the world can you come to this conclusion? If the OEMs won't bother shipping an OS that asks the consumer to select a media player and download it for the net, how in the world are you going to get the OEMs to push select your own OS, never mind media player? Someone is high again.

  • From the article:
    "It's a militant act for a customer to buy the new version," he said.
  • The "N" thing is a dumb solution. MS should have allowed to BUNDLE anything they wanted. However there should be clear and clean options to include or exclude any of the bundled packages and a clear and clean way to REMOVE any packages an OEM chooses to install. Ever install Debian using the Sarge Installer? Ever use Aptitude on Debian? You can install as much or as little as you like and you can uninstall anything you like. Why can't Windows do that? The only bundled piece I have a REAL problem with
  • To hell with the bundle programs. On my XP box, I have real, windows media, and quicktime. I have both mozilla, netscape, and IE. The only thing that dictates what I use is the format of the file I am trying to open or the compatibility of the website I am trying to load. All those programs can be easily found and freely downloaded. So, this whole decision was pointless.

    If governments want to crack the OS monopoly, they need to invest in companies working on alternatives (use the MS fines for that). They

  • That saw the headline as.

    "Windows XP busts a nut."

  • Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

    Not in the least. Here's what the typical computer user will think:

    "Hm, the last time I bought a computer it could play the MP3s I got off of Kazaa as soon as I turned it on. Then the EU yells at Microsoft a lot in court, and now I my new computer can't play my MP3s. Hey, MPs, stop beating up on Microsoft and let me listen to my illegally downloaded music!"

    Computer manufacturers (Dell, HP, and their equivalents

  • CNN's "Free" Windows-only video and crap web site aside, they're contributing to the trivialization of news.

    Please stop linking to them. I can't stand seeing another damned story about a missing white woman while there are real news stories that go unreported.
  • IMO, I would not mind going back to basics 'Windows' wise.

    For instance, the media player post 6.4 has been suckage of epic proportions, and yet all it is (my understanding) is a front-end to 6.4.

    Gee, a polished turd covering an almost golden egg.

    Not much diff, as I've XPlited my installs at work (thx to the boss) or use n-lite.

    Use Media Player Classic, in its place.

    Then there is Outlook Express (Outbreak Express, Look OUT! Express, etc.) that gets yanked pre/post install.

    Gets replaced with Thunderbird
  • by DrSbaitso (93553) on Friday June 24, 2005 @07:19PM (#12905638)
    The reason that XP-N isn't selling is obvious - it costs the same as regular XP, and is worse. What a stupid "remedy."

    Bundling is considered bad by most pre- and post-Chicago school economists is that it uses monopoly power in the tying product (in this case, the operating system) to attempt to gain monopoly power in the tied product (the media player). Microsoft's strategy, so the EU and Justice Department allege, is to force me to take their crappy Media Player along with their operating system, locking me into it and creating a second monopoly from which they could then profit further - by jacking up prices for song downloads, e.g.

    There are a number of reasonable critiques of this analysis which I won't get into here. However, the EU decision obviously provides no remedy to Apple or Real or whoever if Microsoft is allowed to continue selling the goods as a bundle, especially since doing so imposes no additional cost to them other than packaging costs (the marginal cost of the Media Player code on an XP CD is zero). If they were out for anything other than Gotcha!ing a big American company, they would force MS to sell the two pieces of software separately, or at least make MP available as a free download.

    Of course, Microsoft doesn't want people to pay just for the parts of Windows they actually use - it's 200 bucks for the whole kit and kaboodle. For that reason, they don't offer XP-N at a discount, even though they might make more money by doing so.
    • Of course, Microsoft doesn't want people to pay just for the parts of Windows they actually use - it's 200 bucks for the whole kit and kaboodle. For that reason, they don't offer XP-N at a discount, even though they might make more money by doing so.

      How is it they make more money? From reselling the extra bits on the XP install CDs to pr0n providers?

      This isn't like they were selling a horse and buggy. Removing Media Player doesn't mean they're keeping the buggy and selling the horse for the same price.
  • is allowing MS to make both versions availiable to builders, and letting the market decide.

    what the EU was arguing was that they had the right to require redress of the past sins of m$.

    they didn't do it. to do it, they should have REQUIRED that m$ sell only windows nt n as the OS in the EU, and that media player XXXVII or whatever would be an extra-cost add-on, but not to be priced lower than any of the alternatives.

    in that way, the PC builders could roll on all of the free media readers, and the user c
  • ..and lost.

    I'm sure behind closed doors they admit it even in brussels.
  • The EU's sanctions against M$ were somewhat more severe than the USA's but both are ultimately misguided. For M$, fines are only ghost blips on the accounting radar.

    The only thing I can think of that would have been able to do a decent job of enabling fair(er) competition is full, free and open disclosure of all APIs and significant file formats, effectively allowing anyone to write replacement components and compatibility layers/wrappers for all things Windows. Such a scenario is most likely among M$ exec
  • I love slashdot, but I am getting sick of these little twists on news stories which generally come off as out of touch and non-relevant. Why should the lack of demand for a version of Windows that forces the user to chose their own media platforms suddenly open up alternatives?

    On top of that, what is the deal with people being pissed about MS bundling thier software like WMP and IE with their OS anymore. A few years ago this practice did seem scummy and that them doing this would give them unfair control

  • Releasing this off cycle is retarded. Nobody is going to pay to downgrade their copy of windows. If nobody buys a stripped down version of longhorn when that comes out, that will be a story.

    The real story is that I can't find anyone selling XP-n. No idea what the price is, either. Anyone who's confused that XP-n isn't selling is a fool.

The first version always gets thrown away.

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