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MS to mark Friday XP RTM with vapid chopper stunt

Incoming! Another one of those self-congratulary press releases with usual suspect quotes...

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We suspect the sub editors may have been less than kind to the redoubtable Joe Wilcox of CNET. A story yesterday leads in with the bizarre claim that on Friday Bill Gates and Jim Allchin will deliver XP gold code to OEMs by helicopter, but then when what we presume is the true voice of Joe kicks in, it seems they'll just be pressing copies into the hands of the usual suspects (Capellas, Mikey et al) while the choppers whirl around Redmond.

So forget any notions you had about Microsoft cutting loose from compromised and/or choked FTP servers by parachuting relief CDs into Austin and Houston. If this ceremony is anything more than a stunt, then what happens next is that our PC chiefs sprint to their motorbikes and burn out to the Lear jets, sirens wailing. Or Bill and Jimbo would have parachuted out of the choppers into a cake. Or something.

You're right though, it is entirely a stunt. And they're probably paying for it. The helicopters will have a Windows XP plus the logos of major PC makers paint job, and if the major PC makers didn't stump up for this it'd no doubt be black helicopters for them.

If they're doing this on Friday, then the sign-off of code ought to be aimed for late Thursday, if the CDs are real. But as they'll only be using them for coasters while their techies download the real thing, this isn't important. First PC company CEO to ship us a working RTM on a verified chopper CD gets a Register mug. To go with the Microsoft one they already are. (shurely have? - Ed) ®

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