NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2001 — When Windows XP launches here Thursday, Microsoft's new operating system won't be all that's on display. The Marriott Marquis Hotel, the Times Square site for launch activities, will be a showroom for cutting-edge technology such as digital photography, music and video; mobile communications and wireless support; home networking and "real-time" live telephony. All told, more than 50 Microsoft partner companies will have their newest wares on display -- all built to run on, or be compatible with, Windows XP.
The partners are coming from around the globe to show how their new technologies take advantage of Microsoft's newest operating system to provide corporate and home users new computing experiences. The companies joining the Windows XP launch event in New York represent only a portion of the more than 12,000 products and services -- from more than 80 partners -- that operate on Windows XP today.
Microsoft designed Windows XP to make working with PCs and devices easier, faster and more satisfying for everyone from novice to experienced users -- from a corporate enterprise with hundreds of networked PCs to a home user who simply wants to send video clips of a soccer game to Grandma.
This is one reason Compaq Computer Corp. is among the partners taking part in this week's events. "We don't want to sell someone a PC as a paperweight," says Kevin Winert, manager of portable software marketing for Compaq. "Windows XP provides users with an exciting computing experience."
In addition to Compaq, this week's launch events at the Marriott Marquis include PC manufacturers Dell, Gateway, Hewlett Packard and Sony, as well as independent software and hardware vendors and service providers. Their exhibits highlight compatible scanners, printers, external drives and add-in cards available for Windows XP, nearly twice the number of compatible products available for Windows 2000 at its launch.
Also, special Windows XP Madness events will take place at the CompUSA and Gateway Country retail stores on New York's Columbus Circle. Promotional Windows XP material will be provided to customers looking to buy Windows XP.
In addition to its participation in the Experience Partner Pavilion, Symantec Corp., the maker of Internet-security software, participated in the "Designed for Windows XP" logo program to ensure that their products are compatible with the new operating system. Logoed products include Norton Internet Security 2002, Norton Personal Firewall 2002, Norton SystemWorks 2002, Norton AntiVirus 2002, Norton Utilities 2002, Norton CleanSweep 2002 and Norton Ghost 2002. All are designed to provide users of Windows XP with increased security.
"Symantec's expertise in providing consumers and businesses with advanced online security and problem-solving solutions will help users get the most out of Windows XP without compromising security or productivity," says Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Symantec's consumer and client product delivery. "We are pleased to support Microsoft at its launch in New York, and be able to provide our users with solutions to enhance their computing experience with Windows XP."
Printer manufacturer Lexmark also took part in Microsoft's Designed for Windows XP Logo program to let customers to take full advantage of the operating system's new digital-photography features. Lexmark provided Microsoft with feedback about printer support, which was incorporated into the new operating system. "This will allow our customers to enjoy a worry-free installation and printer operation," says Samantha Saenz, segment manager for operating systems at Lexmark. "Lexmark designed Windows XP drivers from the ground up."
Microsoft expects these types of trouble-free features to be especially valuable for Windows XP home users, who want to work with digital photos, video and music but fear that there might be technical hurdles.
"Windows XP allows users to plug in a device and use them within seconds, thanks to automatic detection of devices within the operating system," Compaq's Winert explains. "Using new digital devices has been possible before, but it took a lot more work for users to integrate the software and get it installed. Now, it will be one easy step, without having to read manuals or configure software."
Indeed, with Windows XP and the wide variety of products and services available for the operating system, Microsoft believes this "one easy step" will be all customers need to go more places and do more things than ever with their computers.