As it did so infamously in Europe with its so-called Windows XP N Editions, Microsoft will launch new XP versions in South Korea this week to comply with an antitrust ruling there. The company will ship two new versions each of XP Home and XP Professional Editions: XP KN, which won't include Windows Media Player (WMP) and Windows Messenger, and XP K, which will include the software and also offer links with which users can download rival IM applications. PC makers in South Korea will choose which version to supply to consumers.
These latest XP versions arrive after the Seoul High Court rejected Microsoft's request to suspend the antitrust ruling. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined Microsoft about $34 million in December, ruling that the company's bundling of Microsoft's media player and IM solution in XP violated that country's antitrust laws.
Unlike in Europe, the XP K and KN Editions will replace, not augment, the original XP versions. That is, Microsoft will no longer sell the original versions of XP Home and XP Professional in Korea--just the new versions. In Europe, however, consumers can choose between the original XP versions and the newer XP N Editions, the latter of which don't include WMP. Consumers have overwhelmingly ignored the XP N Editions in Europe.