Bill Gates Announces the Availability of Microsoft Windows XP Beta 2

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 26, 2001 — Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., today announced the availability of Windows® XP beta 2, the new Microsoft® Windows operating system for home and work, at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC). Distributed to hundreds of thousands of testers, beta 2 provides the opportunity for continued testing of the next version of Microsoft’s new operating system. Windows XP, the new Windows with a new look, is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 engine that enables exciting new experiences, giving users the freedom to unlock the possibilities of the digital world.

“The broad distribution of Windows XP beta 2 through the MSDN® developer program, TechNet, Microsoft’s own internal testing, and the technical beta program represent Microsoft’s commitment to working with our partners, customers and employees to make sure Windows XP is rock-solid,”
said Chris Jones, vice president of the Client Group in the Windows division at Microsoft.
“This is an ideal time for developers to build and test hardware and software for Windows XP so our customers will have the best computing experience when Windows XP is released later this year.”

“Windows XP will greatly benefit our mutual customers, both business and home users,”
said John Medica, vice president and general manager of the Transactional Product Group at Dell Computer Corp.
“The experiences enabled by Windows XP offer tremendous opportunities for Dell, Microsoft and the entire PC industry, and the advancements within the operating system will ultimately provide extraordinary benefits to end users. Dell is committed to supporting, testing and delivering Windows XP on our entire line of desktop and laptop computers.”

Beta 2 provides testers with the first look at the exciting new visual design of Windows XP, a clean, simple and appealing look that makes the computing experience easier and faster. The innovative task-based approach helps users quickly find and complete tasks, and the intelligent design helps them get things done by adapting to their usage patterns.

Windows XP Beta 2 Includes Internet Explorer 6 Technologies

Windows XP beta 2 includes the first public beta of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 technologies. Internet Explorer 6 is the underlying feature of Windows XP that enables the Internet experiences within the operating system, and the first beta version of the Internet Explorer 6 technologies includes a first look at many new and enhanced features that will give users of Windows XP a new way to experience the Internet.

Internet Explorer 6 features a new visual design as well as innovative browser capabilities, including enhanced Explorer Bars, integrated instant messaging, media playback and automatic picture resizing, as well as improved privacy for personal information on the Web and unparalleled support for Internet industry standards. In addition to being easier to customize and deploy, Internet Explorer 6 is a feature-rich platform for building Web-based applications and developing compelling content for users.

More information on Internet Explorer 6 technologies, including download information, is available at .

Windows XP Beta 2 Includes the New Windows Media Player 8

Windows XP is designed to be the best operating system for digital media and digital entertainment, offering many new features including a new My Music Folder with support for rich media information and Windows Media™
Player 8.

Windows Media Player 8 provides the only all-in-one digital media experience, with support for watching Windows Media and DVD video, playing and recording CDs, playback of Windows Media and MP3 music, listening to Internet radio, integrated video and music transfer to devices, and much more. New Windows Media Player 8 features include integrated DVD playback support* with media information such as title, cover art, and chapter listings, full-screen video controls, video transfer support, and offline caching of media information. Windows XP also integrates Windows Media Audio and Video 8, which provides the best audio and video quality in the smallest file sizes.

Web Services Enable Simplified End-to-End Computing Experiences

Windows XP represents an important step in delivering on the Microsoft .NET vision because it is the first operating system optimized for Web Services. These building-block services provide end users with simple and complete experiences across the Internet and applications by facilitating access to meaningful and user-centric information. The Windows XP-based PC will be at the center of the .NET experience, empowering users to move beyond disconnected applications, services and devices to complete computing experiences that redefine the relationship between people, software and the Internet.

Windows XP beta 2 offers the first look at new Web Services features. For example, as a function of the new Web Publishing Wizard, Windows XP links users to solutions from Xdrive Technologies Inc., which provide users with the ability to upload, download, access and share their files using a wire line or wireless Internet-ready devices such as personal computers, PDAs, WAP phones and public Internet terminals. Other examples of Web Services included in Windows XP beta 2 are the technologies of Ofoto Inc. and Eastman Kodak Co., which enable Internet photo ordering and the printing of digital images that can be physically delivered to friends and family.

Windows XP 64-Bit Edition

Windows XP will be available in a 64-bit edition for technical workstation users who demand the highest performance and scalability. With beta 2 of Windows XP 64-bit Edition, Microsoft will continue to work closely with ISVs and IHVs to ensure key applications and hardware devices are ready to support the most demanding customer scenarios. Key features of Windows XP 64-bit Edition include large memory support, a single desktop for technical and business productivity applications, and familiar development and management tools.

Windows XP will be available as Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. Windows XP Home Edition will provide consumers with a smarter, simplified computing experience that enables them to stay connected and experience more on a rock-solid foundation. Windows XP Professional will be the most powerful desktop operating system ever built for business, enabling businesses of all sizes to be more productive, stay connected and maintain security and privacy while benefiting from ease of use and flexibility. Microsoft is

scheduled to make the final versions of Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional and Windows XP 64-bit Edition publicly available the second half of this year.

Consumers Invited to Join the Windows XP Preview Program

Consumers interested in being the first to check out Windows XP can register for the Windows XP Preview Program. Participants will receive an e-mail notification when Windows XP is available through the Windows XP Preview Program. This special offer is a release candidate-based preview program that will allow users to test-drive Windows XP. Users who sign up also will be automatically enrolled for receipt of the Windows XP Preview Program Newsletter, which will contain technical information on how to take advantage of the powerful new functionality that only Windows XP can deliver. More information can be found at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software –
any time, any place and on any device.

*Requires Windows XP-compatible MPEG decoder software

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