I am working on a Windows 7 build at the moment, and noticed that it is possible to get Windows 7 N, this obviously leads to the question, what does the 'N' stand for?

I have found out that European law demands Microsoft offer these confusing 'N' editions if Windows 7 and here is the reason why.....

In 2004, the European Commission fined Microsoft a record €497m under an antitrust ruling. The Commission concluded that with a near-monopoly in the operating system market, Microsoft's bundling of Windows Media Player within Windows was anti-competitive. Microsoft was forced to unbundle the software and offer European consumers and manufacturers a version of Windows without it.
 
Microsoft was allowed to keep selling Windows with a media player, under the condition that it at least offer a version without. This took place in the latter part of Windows XP's life and prompted the release of Windows XP N (I personally never noticed it)it was a version identical to Windows XP, but without Windows Media Player.
This was also the same for Windows Vista (again I never noticed it)

So that is how you arrive at Windows 7 N, it is nothing new. All the 'N' editions cost the same as the non-'N' editions and apart from Windows Media Player, offer all the same features.

Anonymous