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With its usual exquisite timing, Microsoft has announced that the server version of WinXP will be tagged Windows 2002 Server. That's the name that was expected, and it has nothing to do with it shipping in 2002 - which it probably will.

Server is intended to come out a little after WinXP ships, so if WinXP makes it for October, as currently planned, Server will be towards the tail-end of the year, or even moving into next. Slippage here isn't too serious a matter for Microsoft, as there's no (the BOFH excepted) corporate Christmas market to shoot for, and unless something goes catastrophically wrong we're already shooting for an orderly Win2.002k Server rollout over first half 2002.

The 2002 designation, incidentally, is also used for the apps within Office XP. Pay attention - there is no such thing as Word XP, for example, it is called Word 2002. Why the individual apps are called 2002 and the bundle XP, we know not. Nor do we know why the client version of the OS is called XP, and the server version 2002. Should bundles, or clusters, of servers be therefore called Windows Server XP? It's a tough life in Redmond product designation...

Office XP update

On the subject of things you probably knew already, we've been meaning to mention that one of Microsoft's worst-kept secrets is that Office XP will go on sale from 31st May, but no doubt you knew that even before Simply Computers blabbed with "available from 31st May" in an ad in the June issue of PC Pro. Simply doesn't seem to have UK pricing yet, but don't tell us, we don't care. The Times' big ad promo, complete with supplement and CD, plus goodness knows what other eval CD offers, are set for the same timeframe.

We do care about the Clippy threat. Apart from Microsoft's already well-publicised bids for cheap publicity on the subject of the redundant, much-hated Office Assistant, we've been warned to brace ourselves for something else. As part of the campaign surrounding the OXP rollout, Microsoft will be dressing people up as Clippy and terrorising innocent shoppers. All this because the Office Assistant default for the animated paperclip has been switched from on to off in OXP.

If you get a chance, switch it on again just so you can switch it off, and you'll get an animation of Clippy getting on his bike and going. It's mildy gratifying. ®

Related story:
WinXP: one more slip, and it's put back to 2002

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