Pre-Order Windows XP

Microsoft has given word that its retail and OEM partners are gearing up for the launch of Windows XP by accepting pre-orders. A long list of outlets including Amazon.com, Best Buy.com, Costco.com, and CompUSA locations nationwide are participating in order to provide their customers with immediate access to the shrink wrapped product.

Microsoft also announced Upgrade Advisor, a tool that takes advantage of Windows Update technology, providing customers with up-to-date information. Windows XP Upgrade Advisor will assist would be upgraders in making the determination of whether or not their systems are ready to handle the switch over to the newly minted operating system.

Upgrade Advisor is scheduled to be made public within the next few weeks.

Keeping in line with previous releases of Windows, OEMs are preparing "Windows XP Ready" PCs for public consumption. Microsoft lists over 30 participating manufacturers including Compaq, Dell, Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Sony. Hewlett Packard and Compaq have recently announced a mega merger between the two corporations that will lead to the creation of a technology powerhouse just shy of IBM in its overall size.

According to John Frederiksen, one of Redmond's marketing gurus for Windows, "Consumers are eager to get a copy of Windows XP and don't want to wait until Oct. 25."

Time will tell if the elation surrounding the launch of Windows 95 can be reproduced -- when eager customers were literally waiting in lines that snaked around in and outside of doors. An upgrade of Windows XP Home Edition will sell for roughly $99 USD with the full version retailing for $199 USD. The Professional release has steeper pricing set, with the upgrade running at $199 USD, and $300 USD for the full fledged version.

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