Software major Microsoft launched multi-language 'Windows XP Starter Edition for India' with English and local language computing interface, as part of its efforts to make computers more affordable, relevant and broadly available to first-time users in the country. Nine local languages will be supported on the operating system by the end of this year.
Microsoft also announced that HCL Infosystems, a PC vendor in Noida near Delhi, will be offering from April PCs based on the Starter Edition, on installments of about 399INR per month for an entry level PC. The PC will include Microsoft's entry level productivity application called Works 8, anti-virus software, and educational content. Broadband connectivity will be offered at additional cost.
Although the Starter Edition has been introduced in a number of emerging economies, this is the first time that the operating system will support multiple local languages and English. Microsoft of Redmond, Washington, launched the Starter Edition in Hindi in India last year. Versions of the Starter Edition in other Indian languages may also be considered depending on user response. A decision to include English as an option was taken after the company discovered a large base of users who preferred an English version, according to Microsoft sources.
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