updated 6/8/2005 7:51:27 PM ET 2005-06-08T23:51:27

Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it will begin selling a version of its Windows operating systems in Europe next week without the video and music Media Player application.

The world's largest software maker was forced to change its Windows OS as part of the European Union's landmark antitrust ruling.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

EU antitrust regulators fined Microsoft a record $608 million (497 million euros) last March, when they ruled that Microsoft abusively wielded its Windows monopoly and locked out competitors.

They also ordered the company to share Windows' source code with competitors who make server software so their products can better communicate with Windows-powered computers.

Microsoft will make Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional N — the "N" stands for "not with Media Player" — available to manufacturers on June 15 in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Versions in other languages — Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese and Swedish — will be available July 15.

The EU rejected Microsoft's first choice for a product name, "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition," on grounds it would discourage sales and mislead customers.

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