April 11, 2005 12:41 PM PDT

Microsoft to expand low-cost Windows to Brazil

Microsoft plans to expand its low-cost Windows XP Starter Edition program to Brazil, the company confirmed Monday.

"On April 13, Microsoft is going to announce the expansion of its five market program to include Brazil," a Microsoft representative told CNET News.com. The company already offers the software in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and has announced plans for India and Russia. The effort in India was pushed back slightly, but the company has said it expects to have Starter Edition launched there by June.

Microsoft declined to offer details on the Brazilian version or when it will launch, though it is expected to be similar to other versions of Starter Edition. In its current form, Starter Edition is not sold on store shelves, but only as part of low-cost PCs. There are other restrictions on the software itself, such as the ability to open only a maximum of three programs at a time.

The move comes as Brazil, a noted supporter of open-source software, seeks to offer a low-cost PC program. There have been reports that the government will use Linux, but Microsoft says it is unaware of being out of the running.

"We will continue to work closely with the government to explore how Microsoft can help address the challenge of enabling digital inclusion through programs such as PC Connectado and other innovative programs," the software maker said in a statement. The company said it "shares the Brazilian government's desire to see a local vibrant IT industry."

Word of Microsoft's plans for Brazil started spreading after the company began demonstrating a localized version of the operating system to Brazilian journalists. The briefings were earlier noted on Microsoft-tracking site Microsoft Watch.

Although some have said Starter Edition is off to a slow start in the countries where it has launched, Microsoft said it's pleased with the results, though it would not say how many PCs have shipped with the operating system.

"We have a tremendous amount of input from first-time PC users in developing technology markets," Mike Wickstrand, director of Windows product management, said in a recent interview. "The feedback that they are giving us is that Windows XP Starter Edition is a valuable product. We're committed to learning and evolving to meet the needs of those customers."

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OSS will hate it, but at least we get the tax $$
When it comes to foreign countries (global economy), I'd like to think the US is getting something for creating the world wide tech boom. I know the MS hates will hate the idea of Redmond making more money, but they do pay taxes to our government.
Posted by TheMidnightCoder (61 comments )
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IBM's On Demand Computing!
To the extent that it is apparent that both Windows and Linux poses certain limitations to some users. for example:- (1). Starter Edition (Windows) will not be sold on store shelves, but only as part of low-cost PCs. (2). Restrictions on the software itself, such as the ability to open only a maximum of three programs at a time; and, (3) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for ERR (Economic Rate Of Return) Functionalities (for banking requirements; re: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.iadb.org/aboutus/index.cfm?language=English" target="_newWindow">http://www.iadb.org/aboutus/index.cfm?language=English</a> ) that are not currently integrated in both Windows and Linux Applications, hence their limitations that may be best addressed by IBM's Computing on Demand Strategies from an hemispheric stand-point through its Global Services Division.
Posted by (187 comments )
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Unfair
This is unfair.
People for years have been looking for a stripped down version of Windows that uses less resources.
How come only the poor get it...

On a more serious note I actually cannot see any compelling reason to use a stripped down version of Windows. Its not the OS thats important its the applications.

Think about it. If all you had on your machine was Windows XP you would be using Wordpad for Word processing and Calculator for your accounts.
Unless these systems are packaged with real application they will be of very little value. For this reason there is definitely a compelling case for Open Source.
O/S and applications for free. Assuming the systems are configured correctly the user will have no problems and have the functionality they need.
Posted by ahickey (177 comments )
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Share Holder Values! ROI, TCO....
It is all well and good for some to clamour for realistic solutions to their educational, social, economic or other needs whether these are related to computing, travel, business or otherwise. As we all should know, in order that people's needs are met adequate resources must be invested, financial or otherwise.

This said, let us focus on the specific issues with regards to the acquisition of adequate computing technology for as it appears in the present scenario - the availability of a "Starter Edition" (a stripped down version) of the Microsoft Windows Operating System with the availability of a limited number of applications as against the alternatives of the Open Source Linux Operating System and other applications which when all put together may not meet the overall needs of the user communities. In addition to the above; and, with all due respect to the question of being "unfair"... how must the investor or stake-holder interest be met if there are no comparable pricing models or Service Level Agreements innplace (Free and Open Source Software as well as internet access and SLAs are not entirely free). Hence, the issues with regards to the questions of "Share Holder Values", Functionalities, Reliability and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Why not consider the IBM's WorkSpace on Demand Scenarios! <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg245107.html?Open" target="_newWindow">http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg245107.html?Open</a> as one more available alternative that can be considered.
Posted by (187 comments )
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