Preparations Made for XP Updates

Microsoft is beginning to unveil plans surrounding Windows XP updates that will debut concurrently with the new operating system. Windows zealot, Paul Thurrott, is reporting that a new version of Windows Messenger -- adding Exchange Server 2000 compatibility -- and Movie Maker 1.2 with added Windows Media support will be available for download via Windows Update come October.

Bringing good news to multimedia enthusiasts, Thurrott also states the controversial MP3 and DVD add-ons to Windows XP will be less expensive than previously thought. The MP3 addition will run under $10 USD, with DVD playback costing between $10 and $15 USD from a variety of vendors. Both packs will be available for download from the Web.

Concessions have also been made for Windows Product Activation now that XP is complete. As reported by BetaNews earlier this month, Microsoft will ship special "pre-activated" copies of Windows XP to larger OEMs that are tied directly to the manufacturer's BIOS. A pre-activated version of the OS leaked earlier this month from within Dell, but only works on newer Dell computers.

Additionally, a 120-day grace period will allow power users to install Windows XP on a separate machine without having to worry about violating license agreements.

Perhaps most exciting, Thurrott has received confirmation that Microsoft will offer a Family License Pack for home networks. These extra licenses will allow households to install Windows XP on more than one computer, and cost up to 12 percent less than a completely new copy of the operating system. BetaNews proposed the idea to WPA product manager, Allen Nieman, in June and was told that license packs for home users were being considered.

Windows XP is set to arrive on store shelves October 25, but several vendors have already begun taking pre-orders. Larger OEMs will ship XP on new computers within the next two weeks.

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