Well, no surprise here that the Windows XP N that was released to distributors last week in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish language versions is doing.... well, nothing really, except gathering dust. Its early days yet, of course, but you don't have to be Albert Einstein to work out that Windows XP N is probably going to turn out to be a big pile of nothing. PC makers and distributors are going nowhere near it, and it's likely that ordinary consumers will feel the same way as well.

Windows XP N is the version of Windows that the EU forced Microsoft to release, which is a cut-down version of XP without the Windows Media Player. This gives manufacturers and consumers the option of installing the OS and using it with the media player of their choice. Surprisingly enough, no one seems to give a damn.

AP quoted France's Fnac department store chain as giving the system nil point, saying that it didn't see any interest at all in the product for the consumer. Other stores aren't stocking it.

PC World says that the older version was better value for customers. After all it is the same price as Windows XP and you still have to download a "Media Player" layer.