Pacific Northwest Microsoft started selling a low-cost version of its Windows operating system in India, targeting first-time computer users...

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Microsoft started selling a low-cost version of its Windows operating system in India, targeting first-time computer users.

The cheaper Windows XP Starter Edition, which will have a Hindi language-user interface, will be loaded on computers made by India’s HCL Infosystems, said Ranjivjit Singh, director of business and marketing operations at Microsoft’s India unit. He declined to disclose the price of the software.

Microsoft is selling the less expensive software in Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia to prevent first-time computer owners from opting for pirated versions of the Windows software or the lower-priced Linux operating system. In India, Microsoft is working with HCL Infosystems and Intel to make computers more affordable.


Hacked Korean site

has been cleaned

Microsoft acknowledged yesterday that hackers booby-trapped its popular MSN Web site in South Korea to try to steal passwords from visitors. The company said it was unclear how many Internet users might have been victimized.

Microsoft said it cleaned the Web site,, and removed the dangerous software code that unknown hackers had added earlier this week. Spokesman Adam Sohn said Microsoft was confident its English-language Web sites were not vulnerable to the same type of attack.

The South Korean site, unlike U.S. versions, was operated by another company that Microsoft did not identify. Microsoft thinks the computers were vulnerable because operators failed to apply necessary software patches, said Sohn, an MSN director.

Nation / World

Sun Microsystems

StorageTek deal

poses some risk

Hoping to revive a business that still hasn’t recovered from the Internet bust, Sun Microsystems agreed yesterday to buy Storage Technology for $4.1 billion in an attempt to capitalize on the digital age’s flood of information.

Sun, which was a profitable Wall Street darling in the 1990s, isn’t straying from its core business of making computers and software. Rather, it’s to become a one-stop tech shop for companies, government agencies and other organizations, said Sun CEO Scott McNealy.

Still, the acquisition of the company popularly known as StorageTek poses a risk for Sun, whose previous efforts in the area have failed to gain traction. Yesterday, Moody’s Investors Service said it was putting Sun’s debt rating under review for possible downgrade.


Federated, May

portfolios purchased

Citigroup, the nation’s largest financial institution, said yesterday it was buying the $6.6 billion credit-card portfolios of Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores and will manage them jointly with Federated.

Citigroup will pay an 11.5 percent premium — or about $760 million — for the portfolios, which together have some 17 million active accounts.

Compiled from Bloomberg News

and The Associated Press