Microsoft, following lengthy discussions with the European Commission, will start selling an edition of its Windows XP operating system without a version of its media player - Windows Media Player.

The new stripped down version will also have a new name, the punchy “Windows XP Home Edition N" so consumers won't be confused to which version they are buying.

According to an interview with Reuters, Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's associate general counsel for Europe, said the name had been suggested by the European Union's executive after it rejected 10 suggestions by Microsoft.

"We have some misgivings about the chosen name, as we fear it may cause confusion for consumers about the product, but we will adopt the Commission's name in order to move forward and accelerate the pace of the implementation process," Gutierrez told Reuters by telephone on Monday.

The edition, named "Windows XP Home Edition N" or "Windows XP Professional Edition N" would be sold in "a matter of weeks," Gutierrez said.

The Commission's order was implemented to force the software giant to allow users to buy alternative software to play movies and music from competitors like Apple and RealMedia rather than being bogged down from the start with the Microsoft Media Player.