Microsoft Announces Windows XP Starter Edition for First-Time Home PC Users in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, June 28, 2005 — Microsoft Mexico today launched the first Spanish version of Microsoft® Windows® XP Starter Edition, a low-cost of the Windows operating system designed for beginner home PC users, and intended to contribute to the wide and generalized use of technology in Mexican homes.

With the extended support of government institutions as well as local and multinational distributors, Microsoft presents a new entry-level option to the Microsoft Windows product family through a system that has been tailored for Mexico, its language and its needs.

“Windows XP Starter Edition is part of Microsoft’s commitment to the development of digital inclusion and education in our country,” said Felipe Sanchez Romero, CEO of Microsoft Mexico. “It is an initiative that provides access to technology for more Mexican homes, and through that, it sees towards a more competitive Mexico.”

With this announcement, Mexico became the sixth country to launch the Windows XP Starter Edition as part of a pilot program that Microsoft Corporation is running in developing markets, and it is the first Spanish-speaking country.

During the event, this initiative was supported by analysts and executives of firms that comprise the software distribution channel, who have seen a new opportunity to broaden the use of computers in a segment where it is traditionally difficult to access technology.

“In the case of Mexico, half of its population belongs to low and very-low income levels,” said Ricardo Zermeño, CEO of IDC. ‘There, only 6 percent of homes have a PC. I believe that if Windows XP Starter Edition is accompanied by a similar effort to innovate the rest of the components in a PC to make it more accessible, and it is also accompanied by promotion and coverage in the distribution channels, these factors will have a true impact on the market,”.

Victor Borras, CEO of Infonavit, said: “The main challenge is to make it possible for all people to access leading technology, and for everyone in a family to have access to several additional benefits. Windows XP Starter Edition integrates three things: affordable price, low complexity and high focus on education.”

Windows XP Starter Edition includes features specifically designed for beginners:

  • Customized support in Spanish: Step-by-step guidance, local-language help, and instructional videos designed for beginners.

  • Localized user interface for Mexico: Wallpapers and screensavers with local landscapes, flags, and geography-specific traditional designs help create a familiar user environment. In Mexico, for example, pictures of archeological sites, local monuments and tourist attractions will be used.

  • Pre-configured PC settings: Pre-configured settings for advanced options such as an automatically enabled Windows Firewall make it easy for users to get started using their new PC in a secure environment.

  • Core features, high value: Windows XP Starter Edition enables beginner PC users to perform the tasks that matter to them most, at a lower cost. It includes Wordpad, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and Windows Media Player.

Windows XP Starter Edition users will be able to access the Internet; send Instant Messages; send and receive e-mail, digital pictures, and video; and install compatible hardware and software.

“The digital gap is something that happens in Mexico and in many other developing countries – technology is normally adopted by people with more money and sometimes more education, but t is now reaching other people. Microsoft, through Windows XP Starter Edition, is creating the product which will allow first-time users to access that technology in a simple way,” said Gerardo Villarreal, CEO of Intel Mexico.

Jose Luis Garcia, CEO of Dell Mexico, said that “Mexico’s fundamental challenge is economy. Both Microsoft and Dell are working on the ability to make technology more accessible, in a faster and more affordable way.

“Contributing to more people and organizations reaching their goals and developing their full potential through technology is a priority for Microsoft,” said Romero. “With Windows XP Starter Edition, we take a step towards the vision of having more people benefit from this tool.”

Industry Partners

Microsoft’s industry partners and distributors for he release of Windows XP Starter Edition in Mexico include: Intel, AMD, Dell, Telmex, Infonavit (a state-owned mortgage agency providing subsidized loans to low/mid income citizens throughout Mexico), Texa, Lanix, Hergo, Ingram Micro and CVA.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing.

Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition is a trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of companies and products mentioned above may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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