Microsoft has confirmed that it has no plans to change the New York location for the launch of Windows XP on 25 October, despite this month's attacks.
In a statement issued by the software giant, chairman Bill Gates said the company remains on track to launch Windows XP at the Marriott Marquis Theatre in New York City's Times Square.
Gates added that industry leaders will also be on hand to join Microsoft for the debut of the much-anticipated version of Windows.
The announcement comes two weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and as Mayor Rudolph Giuliani asked the city and the nation to get on with business. Giuliani said that Microsoft's decision demonstrates the business community's commitment to the city.
Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said that, after consulting with the city of New York and the mayor, the company decided to move forward in the wake of the terrible tragedy.
"We wanted guidance from the city and the mayor to make sure it was appropriate before we came to New York to celebrate a product launch," Cullinan said. "We were welcomed with open arms."
Cullinan said that partners, customers and the press have been sent invitations but that it was too soon to gauge the feedback. He also said it would be a global launch with a separate celebration taking place in Europe.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group, said the launch event would be a risk wherever they chose to do it. "At least in New York, the security will be more up to speed than most other locations right now," he said. "The bigger issue will be whether the attendees will make the trip."
Meanwhile Compaq, Dell, Hewlett Packard and IBM said they would be taking orders for Windows XP this week.
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