Microsoft's XP operating system (OS) hit the shops today amid a blaze of publicity in the UK that is estimated to be costing the company a cool £10m.
The system went on sale at midnight BST, and UK retailers are hoping that some 25 million users will cough up between £85 and £245 for the new software.
Such hopes are not unlikely, as many eager users were queuing up last night along London's Tottenham Court Road to be among the first to get hold of the new OS.
Chief executive Steve Ballmer, who is launching the software this morning at the Royal Festival Hall, promises that the system will offer an "easy-to-use" interface that will launch applications faster. And the desktop is expected to appear tidier.
"This is the beginning of the end for technology that baffles, confuses or puts a barrier in the way of helping you do what you want to do," he said.
Hence its 'Yes You Can' branding tag line, which was swiftly switched from 'Learn To Fly' following the terrorist attacks on the US.
Windows XP comes in two versions: Professional for business users, priced at around £245; and Home Edition, which costs around £170.
Upgrade packages will come in at around £165 and £85 respectively.
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