Web Exclusive?Welcome to Windows XP
By David Dritsas
Microsoft last month publicly demonstrated its newest OS, Windows XP. This latest operating system is promising a new visual interface, technical advancements and the beginning of a new marketing philosophy for the company that emphasizes integration with the Internet. It will be available to both consumers and businesses as a single OS. There will not be separate programs for the two markets as had been planned previously. The new name of the program, with "XP" standing for experience, was announced early last week and is part of a new marketing scheme to ensure consumers that Microsoft is still at the forefront of the software business. The new nametag is also being applied to the company's next-generation version of Microsoft Office. What was going to be Office 10 will now be known as Office XP. Both programs are promising better integration between applications and the Internet by using the Web-based XML language that can allow users to work and automate tasks between different applications and browsers. Both manufacturers and retailers say they are on board with XP. Mark Vena of Compaq said, "Compaq will be aggressively integrating Windows XP when it is available." Retailer Circuit City is also eager to support XP. Circuit City President and CEO W. Alan McCollough said, "When it's available, all the Windows PCs we sell will be running Windows XP." Currently, both the OS and the new Office programs are in beta testing, with Windows XP expected to be available by the second half of 2001 and Office XP available earlier, toward the first half of 2001. Prices have not yet been announced.