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Microsoft delays low-cost Windows for India

Not this month, software maker says. India's "Starter edition" of Windows XP now planned for June.

Microsoft is pushing back by several months the release of a low-cost version of Windows in India.

The software maker had originally hoped to release its Windows XP Starter Edition there by the end of this month, but is now shooting for a June release.

"Microsoft, like any organization, sets internal target dates for all projects to give direction to the development teams," Microsoft said in a statement. "However, they are only target dates and product quality always takes precedence over timing."

In a September press release, Microsoft had said it would release the product in "early 2005."

India is the fifth country Microsoft has targeted for the scaled-back Windows pilot program. The company has announced plans for Russia, and is shipping the software in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Windows XP Starter Edition is offered only with new PCs in local languages and is not sold separately in stores. There are also limits not found in other versions of Windows XP, such as the fact that users can only run three programs at once.

Microsoft has been working to find a way to tackle the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging markets, particularly those where piracy is common.