Microsoft is expected to start shipping a modified version of its Windows XP operating system for the European market to PC manufacturers from 15 June, as part of its European Commission anti-trust settlement.
The new Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional Edition N is being distributed without Microsoft’s Windows Media Player as ordered by the Commission, which wants to make it easier for the likes of Real Networks and Apple to compete in the media player market.
Microsoft had originally proposed calling the new operating system Windows XP Reduced Media Edition, which was rejected by the European Commission.
The Commission also told Microsoft to remove warnings that the new software would not work with some programs and to make it easier for users to install different media players.
The modified operating system will be available to buy in retail stores from 1 July, and will be sold alongside the original version for the same price.
Microsoft is still trying to finalise arrangements with the Commission over making its Windows workgroup server protocols available to developers wanting to build alternative products that can work in the Windows environment.
Along with a £345m fine, this was the other main condition the company had to meet to end the anti-trust case.