New York - With the computer industry heavily depending on sales of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system to brighten their gloomy fiscal year, the most prominent names in the business are gathering here for XP's official launch tomorrow.
But even this high level of support might not be enough in the face the on-going war and slumping PC industry.
AMD, Compaq and 3Com are just a few of the companies that will be on hand to hype the benefits of the operating system. XP represents the first total overhaul of the Windows system in about six years and requires a much more robust PC to run. Vendors hope consumers will want XP added benefits, such as more stability and built in home networking ability, to buy a new PC or upgrade their current computer.
Microsoft's Bill Gates will officially launch XP on Thursday with a speech that will two days of speeches and product demonstrations.
Prior to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks industry analysts went along with this line of thought and expected XP to have a positive impact by giving a healthy boost to PC sales, but this optimism has faded.
Analysts at Forrester Research called XP a nice upgrade, but will not radically change the way consumers use their PCs.
Steve Baker, an analyst with NPD Intelect, Retson, Va., had expressed a very positive view of XP and its potential for buoying the industry. The continued poor economy and not so much the war against terrorists has sapped whatever momentum there was out of the PC industry, he said.
While a nice upgrade, Windows XP will neither dramatically boost the struggling PC industry, nor radically change the way consumers use their PCs.
Consumers have shown enough interest in XP. Amazon.com reports its top two selling pre-orders for non-game software titles are Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade, Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition Upgrade. The Home Edition Upgrade will sell for $99 and Professional Edition, $199. Amazon is offering free shipping on all XP titles.