Microsoft will launch Windows XP on 25 October, spending twice as much to promote it than for the Windows 95 launch.
Compaq, Dell, Gateway and others will offer machines with the operating system pre-installed from that date, and it will be on sale at retail stores in full or upgrade versions. Initially available will be Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition.
"Mark your calendars now: the release of Windows XP on 25 October is going to be a historic day for our customers and for the industry," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive at Microsoft.
"IDC expects that Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional will see more new licence shipments by the end of 2002 than any other new Microsoft operating system has had in its first full year of availability," said Al Gillen, an analyst at IDC. "This will make it the fastest-adopted version of Windows to date."
A Microsoft spokesman denied that the timing of the announcement had been influenced by press reports suggesting that the launch may be delayed until 2002. Indeed, as reported hereby vnunet.com, Microsoft laughed off the idea.
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