LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. software giant Microsoft officially launched the latest
version of its flagship product Windows on Thursday, kicking off
a $250 million marketing campaign for what it dubs its hottest
product to date.
The widely anticipated operating system, Windows XP, which has been
preinstalled on new personal computers for many weeks now,
is available as a separate product in shops as of Thursday.
True to style, Microsoft used its $36.2 billion cash pile to throw
launch parties around the globe, schmoozing thounsands of customers
and business partners.
Microsoft's own October festivities attempted to rekindle memories
of the high-profile Windows 95 lanuch when customers lined up in
front of shops a midnight, boosting Microsoft's top line.
Although this time nocturnal queues were few and far between, the
software behemoth made sure its biggest names hit the streets
plugging the product.
Microsoft President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer
spearheaded an event on London, while cofunder and Chief Software
Architect Bill Gates in New York was scheduled to host the biggest
corporate bash since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.