Nigel J. Ross

MS and the EU: Naming a Non-Starter

After a long squabble, a legal battle, and heavy fines, Microsoft announced the launch of its Windows XP "Edition N" in Europe. In other words, European users can also buy scaled-down editions: Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional Edition N without the bundled mediaplayer that the EU Commission called into question. But Edition N will cost the same; it will receive no special publicity from MS, and it has an unattractive - or even suggestively inappropriate appellative. There is some doubt as to what "N" actually stands for, but it is a letter full of negative connotations. And the Professional Edition N, which is likely to be shortened to ProN, has many in-the-know computer fanatics baulking. As a result, Edition N is likely to be a commercial and linguistic non-starter.

published in English Today (Vol 21/4, October 2005), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

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