Microsoft set to send Windows XP to PC makers

By : |August 24, 2001 0



SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp. is expected to send the final version of its Windows
XP operating to computer makers on Friday, an important milestone for the
software giant as it proceeds with plans to launch the new product this fall
amid calls by rivals for changes.

Speculation has mounted that the final version, or "gold code," of
Windows XP would be finished this week after chief executive Steve Ballmer said
earlier this week that the goal was to wrap up work on the product by Friday.

On Thursday, Microsoft invited reporters to a Windows XP event with company
co-founder and chairman Bill Gates and PC industry executives at its Redmond,
Washington headquarters scheduled for Friday morning. A Microsoft spokeswoman
would not confirm that the event would be the ceremonial handing off of Windows
XP by Gates to PC executives, but analysts said that was all but certain.

"The decision (to ship) is typically made the morning of the event.
That’s what they are anticipating, that the product will be ready and will go
out," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with technology consultancy Giga
Information Group. Windows XP, the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship
product, is scheduled to go on retail sale on Oct. 25, though some PCs will have
the new software preinstalled as much as a month earlier.

To make that October debut, Microsoft was seen as having to send the Windows
XP "gold code," or final version, to PC makers and retailers by late
August or early September.

Calls for changes
Any delay in the launch would make it difficult to work up consumer enthusiasm
for the product – which Microsoft calls the most important update to the
consumer version of Windows in six years – in time for the crucial holiday
shopping season.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

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