MS launches XP lite for Indian market

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 30 September 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Microsoft has announced its simplified and low-priced version of Windows XP for India and has tied up with leading PC vendors including HCL, HP, Wipro and Acer to bring PCs at ‘significantly’ lower prices.

With this announcement, India becomes one of five countries chosen for the Starter Edition Pilot Programme.

“The Windows XP Starter Edition is designed for first time home PC users in developing markets and is being customised for the Indian market,” says Ravi Venkatesh, chairman, Microsoft India.

The low-cost desktop PCs based on the Starter Edition operating system from HCL, HP, Acer and Wipro will be available early next year.

Refusing to disclose the price, he merely said, “the price reduction will be significant”.
Starter Edition is a customised and localised version of Windows XP and will limit itself to running three programme at a time.

Fully localised in Hindi, it will be made available in India in early 2005. An Windows XP operating systems currently cost about Rs 4500 and an operating system constitutes about 18-20 % of the cost of a PC.

Earlier Union IT and Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran suggested a 20 % reduction in prices of Starter Edition based PCs saying consumers should be passed on the benefits of any price reduction.

Emphasising that the slimmed-down low cost will not eat into the market share of Windows XP Home, Rajiv Kaul, managing director (India) said, “We are currently collecting end user feedback from across the country, which will be used to finalise the offering before its availability early next year”.

“India is one of the five countries where Windows XP Starter Edition will be launched. Others are Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,” he said. The Microsoft XP Starter Edition will have all basic Windows XP features offering internet connectivity, security, Windows Messengers, digital photography, Media Player9 Series among others.

Starting early 2005, Windows XP Starter Edition based low-cost desktop PCs will be made available through OEM partners and distributors across India.

Over the next few months, Microsoft India will work closely with its OEM partners and the Government of India to decide the finer points of the distribution mechanism.

Specific pricing information too will be made available to participating PC OEMs and Microsoft Authorised OEM distributors in the coming weeks.

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