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PQ to release WinXP version of Partition Magic next week

Hang on, what about a free patch for 6.0 then?

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One of the snagettes about the WinXP beta has been that Microsoft did a point rev on the file system, from NTFS 5.0 to 5.1, thus breaking disk management systems that had anything to do with it, and making life awkward for people wanting, say, to run the beta boot-managed with other operating systems. Other non-Microsoft operating systems, that is, because there's no problem within the Redmond portfolio.

But the vendors are all expected to come up with the necessary updates for when XP actually ships* and the first, PowerQuest's PartionMagic 7.0, is apparently due out next week. It'll have retail price of $69.95, or $49.95 for an upgrade from previous versions. And yes indeed, your sharp intake of breath at that point was perfectly justified.

The difference between NTFS 5.0 and 5.1 seems to be minor, sufficiently so for Win2k to be able to deal with 5.1 drives without apparently noticing the difference. So you'd think words like "patch", "free" and "for download" ought to pop up in association with running PartitionMagic 6.0 on XP. We being honest souls round at The Reg, we presume that PartitionQuest will indeed have a free patch for 6.0 (which was the first one to support Win2k) out at the same time as it releases 7.0.

There seem to be some new features to 7.0, including external USB drive support, but it's not entirely obvious that there's $49.95 worth of new features. Come to think of it, there also seem to be some new features to WinXP, but it's not entirely obvious that... ®

* Following our sighting of a 2nd September availability date for XP on the Computer 2000 site, a helpful reseller sends us another, with a 7th September date and a £198 price tag. If Microsoft is shouting at C2K, C2K's systems don't seem to be listening. An Irish reseller gives us a price from C2K in Irish Punts of 249.08, and adds that C2K closed its Dublin office and sacked all the staff last week. This presumably means that WinXP packages will come off the Microsoft production line in Ireland, get shipped to UK warehouses, then get shipped back to Ireland when the dealers order them. Irish readers, watch for skidmarks on the packaging...

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