Microsoft's new product floodgates are (finally) open

In the next couple of weeks, it seems like a lot of long-awaited Microsoft products will finally go live.

In the next couple of weeks, it seems like a lot of long-awaited Microsoft products will finally go live.

Last week, it was IE 7. On October 24, Microsoft released the XP version of Windows Defender, its antispyware tool. It also rolled out the final version of Windows Desktop Search yesterday, as well.

On October 30, Microsoft is expected to go gold with Windows Media Player (WMP) 11 for Windows Xp. (It sounds like the original scheduled release-to-manufacturing date for WMP 11 was supposed to be October 24, but Microsoft pushed it back for some unexplained reason.)

Microsoft also is expected to release the final version of Office Live, the small-business-focused services that are an adjunct to Microsoft Office, on or around October 31. Office Live will be integrated with a number of Microsoft's growing family of Live properties. The LiveSiders cite as an example the inclusion of an adManager tool for purchasing and managing Windows Live Search keywords.

And the biggest kahunas of the "when will they ship" gang -- Windows Vista and Office 2007 --  are both weeks, if not days, away from their respective RTM dates, according to Microsoft watchers inside and outside the company.

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