Microsoft brings XP Starter Edition to new markets

Microsoft reaches out to people in developing technology markets with several initiatives.

Microsoft will introduce versions of Windows XP Starter Edition in two additional languages, Arabic and Turkish, the company announced on Tuesday. The stripped-down version of its PC operating system is one of three Microsoft initiatives aimed at PC users in developing markets.

The new additions bring the total number of languages for Windows XP Starter Edition to nine, covering 32 countries, according to Microsoft Product Director Mike Wickstrand. "The Starter Edition provides more affordable software designed for beginning PC users in underserved markets," Wickstrand said. "It helps them get up to speed quicker."

The software provides "getting started" screen tips and videos for first-time users to use the software and connect to the Internet, Wickstrand said. He declined to specify what he meant by "affordable" or provide general pricing information about the product.

The starter initiative, launched 14 months ago, complements two other Microsoft initiatives aimed at developing technology markets: the Local Language Program and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) program.

The Local Language Program enables Windows and Office software to be localized by creating technology "skins," called Local Interface Packs, which overlay Windows and Office code to make them available in local languages. To date, Microsoft has 31 interface packs for Windows and 21 for Office, in languages such as Nepali and Punjabi, the company said.

The MAR program works in partnership with refurbishers to help under-served communities access low-cost technology, according to Microsoft. Under the program, refurbishers are licensed to install Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows 2000 Professional on refurbished computers to eligible recipients throughout the region. Eligible recipients include charitable organizations and educational institutions.

Not everyone is convinced of Microsoft's developing market initiatives. "I think the Starter Edition program is aimed largely at governments to show them that the company is doing more than just defending its software monopoly," said Sunil Abraham, manager of the international open source network at the United Nations Development Program.

"Why should people in developing markets, such as China and India, pay money for licensed Microsoft software when they can get pirated versions for next to nothing?" he asked.

Already, around 92 percent of the Microsoft software being used by consumers in China and around 88 percent in India is pirated, he said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?