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WinXP to launch on October 26: coders go on war footing

Date to be nailed to mast tomorrow

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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Register sources close to Redmond have confirmed that Microsoft has gone for late October for the launch of WinXP. The company intends to nail its colours to the mast with an official announcement of this tomorrow (Wednesday) and has put the XP team on a war footing - six days a week working is now required for all Windows division staff.

The marketing droids have been telling our friend Mary Jo, we note, that the October 29th date is not correct. Our sources confirm this, and tell us the date will be October 26th. It's a fine point - 26th is Friday, and that means an extra weekend of sales as the season livens up, if all goes according to plan.

RC1 (Release Candidate 1) of WinXP is now down for June 20th, and RTM (Release to Manufacture) no later than August 29th. That gives the OEMs just slightly over eight weeks for testing, so if all dates are met WinXP machines will be available for the launch, but not much ahead of it.

Microsoft has also knocked back the release of Win2k Service Pack 2, because of the last minute discovery of a bug in the WINS client. The new RTM is May 14th, next Monday. ®

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