Both editions contain links to third-party instant messenger and media player software.
This edition of Windows XP Home is intended for sale with certain "low-cost" netbooks and will appear labeled as "Windows XP Home Edition ULCPC" (with "ULCPC" standing for "ultra low cost personal computer").
Unlike competing commercial digital video recorder products, Microsoft does not charge a monthly subscription fee for its Media Center TV guide service.
Due to strict hardware requirements, Microsoft did not sell Media Center Edition in retail markets alongside the Home and Professional editions.
Microsoft wanted to call this version Reduced Media Edition, but EU regulators objected and suggested the Edition N name, with the N signifying "not with Media Player" for both Home and Professional editions of Windows XP.
The initial release was available solely in conjunction with computers that included media center capabilities, and could not be purchased separately.
The first major update was released in 2004 and distributed by Tier 1 OEMs who had previously sold Windows XP Media Center Edition PC, and then updated again in 2005, which was the first edition available for System Builders.
After the 2005 release, Microsoft focused their efforts on building new media center features into "Home Premium" and "Ultimate" editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, which have Windows Media Center built-in and, unlike the releases of Windows XP Media Center Edition, were available for retail purchase without the necessary hardware.
The most notable feature unique to this edition is the Windows Media Center, which provides a large-font, remotely accessible interface ("10-foot user interface") for television viewing on the computer as well as recording and playback, a TV guide, DVD playback, video playback, photo viewing, and music playback.