Microsoft Statement on European Commission Process

REDMOND, Wash. — March 28, 2005 – Microsoft announced today that it has agreed to adopt the European Commission’s designation for a name of the version of Windows without a media player. As part of the European Commission Decision issued on March 24, 2004, the company is required to make available a version of the Microsoft Windows operating system without Windows Media Player in Europe. Late last week the Commission instructed Microsoft to name this product “Windows XP Home Edition N” and “Windows XP Professional Edition N.”

Two months ago, Microsoft provided the Commission with nine possible names and offered to adopt any name chosen by the Commission from this list. Late last week, Microsoft received feedback based on the Commission’s market testing of the media player remedy. The Commission advised Microsoft that all of the names that the company had suggested were unacceptable. While we are disappointed with that determination and have some misgivings that the Commission’s designated name may cause confusion for consumers, we will adopt the Commission’s name in order to promptly move forward and accelerate the pace of the implementation process.

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