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Innovation

Windows XP: the users' verdict

What your peers say...
Written by Joey Gardiner, Contributor on

What your peers say...

Microsoft paraded a stream of partners and satisfied early adopters as part of the launch of Windows XP today.

These include many high-profile internet businesses including Expedia and Amazon.com, as well as more traditional users, such as BT Ignite and Cornwall County Council.

However, it may be of concern to Microsoft that the large corporate users, such as the Fords and the BPs of this world, were noticeable by their absence.

Dana Cuffe, CIO of online bank Egg, said he was enthusiastic about the new OS and had deployed it to allow Egg to help its customers more.

He said: "We went live with XP on our site this morning, because we want to make the promise of this new platform real. This is just a way for us to deepen the relationship with our customers - it's really them who are leading this."

Egg is using some of the new XP functionality to allow its customers to interact in real-time with customer service staff online. Customers running XP will be able to get immediate help via instant messaging, internet telephone or even video.

Cuffe added: "For us this is also a way into .NET services - an ethos we are fully behind. Web services like this will make things easier for our customers, and we're betting Microsoft is going to win that battle."

Babak Fouladi, head of platforms for e-tailer lastminute.com, painted a similar, rosy picture. He said: "This is a great software release. The XP platform makes using the Internet - both for us and our customers - easier."

Lastminute.com is benefiting from new XP features allowing it to provide personalised alerts to its users, making users aware when a company is able to meet their specific request, for say, flights to Nice at under £100.

None of the partners at the launch seemed to be too concerned about the reliability issues surrounding the platform, despite Microsoft's reputation for releasing buggy software in the past.

Fouladi said: "As an early adopter you are going to get growing pains, but you also get the benefit of being part of the development of a project - we were pleased and surprised at how responsive Microsoft have been to our needs."

However, away from the glitz and glamour of the launch at London's Royal Festival Hall, business users up and down the country seem less convinced that the operating system is the answer to their problems.

We'll be publishing the unofficial user response later today.

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