Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates kicked off the Windows XP party in New York City on Wednesday, giving a brief talk at the ISV and hardware partner pavilion that opened here at 1 p.m. EST.
Thanking Microsoft's Windows XP hardware and software partners, Gates milled about the floor of the Marriott Marquis Pavilion in Times Square where more than 50 ISVs and hardware manufacturers displayed Windows XP-optimized products.
Microsoft also announced in conjunction with chip giant Intel on Wednesday that its latest Windows operating system -which is due to be officially launched by Gates here Thursday--is optimized for Intel's Pentium 4 chip to aid in digital media applications.
Retail stores CompUSA and Gateway Country in New York's Columbus Circle plan to host Windows XP Madness events beginning at 9:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, and Morning Madness events will be held at 20 retail locations across the country on Thursday morning, Microsoft said.
Microsoft reaffirmed early this month a commitment to launch Windows XP as scheduled in Times Square on Oct. 25, despite ongoing concerns about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Security at the Marriott Marquis event on Wednesday was tight.