The low-cost version of Windows XP in India will now be launched in June, it has emerged. Prior to this, it was expected that the launch would take place in the first quarter of 2005, but in true Microsoft fashion this has been delayed. The problem, it seems, is that Windows XP Starter Edition has been put forth by delays in adapting it for local users.

"We are still working on providing Indian language capability. You can’t underestimate the huge development work involved." - Ranjivjit Singh, marketing and business operations director.

Microsoft is hoping that the provision of a cheap XP in India will help to reduce piracy (apparently, only 1 in 5 machines in India use more expensive licensed software.) However, this may prove difficult, given the lukewarm response to the launch of Windows XP Starter Edition in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Part of the problem is that pirated copies of Windows XP are sold for less than $5, and many prospective Starter Edition partners sell their kit without any OS installed, while others are continuing to pre-load full editions of XP. Still others are finding a market for pre-loaded Linux.