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Microsoft to launch Rs 1,000 starter XP edition to take on piracy

Posted by iTech - 2005-10-02

MICROSOFT Corporation India is set to launch the Windows XP Starter Edition priced at Rs 1,000 that fits well into the Rs 10,000 price personal computers that have begun to proliferate in the country.

The Starter Edition is attractively priced targeting countries such as India and Russia. The edition comes with high localisation and would be available in a local language interface such as Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.

For the company, this move is aimed at partly curbing the rampant piracy of operating systems.

The Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of Microsoft Corporation, Mr Brad Smith, said: "High levels of piracy was a major concern for the corporation, going up to 73 per cent in India. This starter edition is aimed at partly addressing this issue head on."

Mr Smith, on a visit to Hyderabad, said Microsoft plans to address piracy through a three-pronged approach — offering the product at one-third the price, effective law enforcement and education.

The cheaper operating system option helps companies breach the Rs 10,000-barrier in offering the MS operating system, and this would discourage buyers to opt for pirated copies. As part of the Windows operating system, it is compatible with a wide range of windows applications and devices.

The Windows XP Starter Edition is currently available in Hindi and Tamil through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and is priced roughly in the same range of Rs 1,000 — Rs 1,500 depending on the vendors. The proposed India-specific Windows XP Starter Edition announced by Microsoft would now be bilingual, supporting English and nine local languages. The edition is expected to have the same features as the existing XP Starter Edition, including localised and tailored support, customisation (country-specific wall papers and screensavers) and pre-configured settings.

It assumes significance, as the option of an English language interface on Windows XP Starter Edition (cheapest version of Windows operating system) is being provided for the first time anywhere in the world.

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