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Australia sticks to Windows XP launch date

Microsoft Australia is towing the corporate line, saying Windows XP is on target for its initial release date, which is scheduled for the second half of this year.

Microsoft Australia is towing the corporate line, saying Windows XP is on target for its initial release date, which is scheduled for the second half of this year.

"Currently, we're saying Windows XP will be available in the second half of this calendar year," Microsoft's Senior Product Marketing Manager for Desktop Windows Paul Roworth told ZDNet.

At this stage of the development cycle, however, the software giant can't commit to a set date.

"The reason we can't stipulate an exact launch date is that our number one priority is the quality of product and there are milestone along the way we must reach," he said.

Manufacturers in the United States are hedging their bets, however, on a 2002 release of Windows XP.

A ZDNet report revealed Microsoft is counting on a release of the final code for XP in late July or early August this year. However, Microsoft described the "window of delivery" as "tight" to PC manufacturers in the US, saying if the date slipped, Windows XP would be pushed back to 2002.

The report said a 2002 release would pose problems for Microsoft, as it would miss the lucrative sales periods in the US.

Currently, Windows XP is in its second phase of the testing program, known as Beta 2.

According to Roworth, approximately 4,500 organisations in Australia will test the product this month.

"We are gathering feedback regarding beta 2, which will go to the development team to work towards resolving issues, then we'll roll that into a subsequent beta," he said.

Roworth says although the software giant is on track to launch the final code in the second half of this year, "until the product meets a certain level of quality, Microsoft won't know exactly when the product will be ready."