updated 1/31/2005 8:54:10 PM ET 2005-02-01T01:54:10

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to change the name of a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system after European regulators balked at the company's original choice.

The name "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition" will be dropped, said Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake. She said the company is still working with the European Union on a suitable alternative.

EU officials had complained about the originally proposed name.

Complying with an EU antitrust order, Microsoft has said it will soon send computer manufacturers a version of Windows without the company's multimedia player.

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The EU had ordered the software giant to produce and sell the alternative Windows version in the European Union even as Microsoft appeals the antitrust order.

EU Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said the antitrust order, issued last March, included a requirement that "Microsoft must refrain from using commercial, technological or contractual terms that would have the effect of rendering the unbundled version of Windows less attractive."

The commission ruled that Microsoft abusively wielded its Windows software monopoly to unfair advantage. In addition to forcing the company to change some business practices, the EU regulators also imposed a $651 million fine.

The agreement to change the product's name comes on the eve of a visit with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

Gates was to visit EU headquarters Tuesday for talks with top trade, industry and internal market commissioners.

No meeting was planned with the head of the antitrust office, which imposed the measures on Microsoft.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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