Microsoft to outline latest on Windows XP

Reports surfaced last Friday that Microsoft would make an announcement about the availability of its newest operating system (OS) sometime this week. Analysts have noted that the company is under a significant amount of pressure to release the OS to manufacturers at least in time for the holiday shopping season. A number of published reports peg the release for sometime in late October. Company representatives refused to comment about Wednesday's conference call and would only confirm that Microsoft is sticking with its stated time line to release Windows XP "sometime in the second half of 2001."

Windows XP, the next generation of the Windows 2000 line, will offer voice, video and application sharing over the Internet, and will be released with a Professional and Home Edition. The operating system is currently in beta testing.

Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Group Vice President, is scheduled to host Wednesday's conference call, which is set for 8:30 a.m. PDT. The dial-in number for the call is 1-800-399-0081. Reporters should ask for the Microsoft Windows XP conference.

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