Countdown Begins!

REDMOND, Wash., May 9, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it will launch Microsoft® Windows® XP, the highly anticipated next release of the Windows operating system, on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2001. Windows XP will be available on new PCs and as a full or upgrade version at retail locations.

Windows XP — the new Windows with a new look — is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 engine and enables exciting experiences that gives users the freedom to create, connect and communicate in new ways. Windows XP also establishes a new standard in power, reliability, security and simplicity. The operating system will be available on Oct. 25, 2001, in two editions: Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition for businesses of all sizes.

“Mark your calendars now: The release of Windows XP on Oct. 25 is going to be a historic day for our customers and for the industry,”
said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft.
“Windows XP will be the highest-quality Microsoft operating system ever, and Microsoft and our associates are committed to delivering a set of amazing new computing experiences that will set a new paradigm for PC users around the world.”

Windows XP will be the biggest Windows marketing event in Microsoft history — doubling the investment of the Windows 95 launch in the first four months of product availability alone. This incredible marketing push by Microsoft and industry partners is expected to unleash tremendous demand for the experiences that Windows XP enables.

“IDC expects that Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional will see more new license shipments by the end of 2002 than any other new Microsoft operating system has had in its first full year of availability,”
said Al Gillen, analyst at IDC.
“This will make it the fastest-adopted version of Windows to date.”

Industry partners have demonstrated unprecedented support for Microsoft and the new Windows XP operating system.

“PCs that combine Intel’s Pentium 4 processor with Windows XP will be fantastic platforms for creating exciting digital media,”
said Paul Otellini, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group.
“The launch of Windows XP will create a great opportunity for our entire industry to sell amazing new PCs based on the Pentium 4 processor.”

“The combination of Windows XP and Compaq PCs is going to transform our customers’ computing experience, whether they are at home, at work or on the road,”
said Mike Larson, senior vice president and general manager for the Access Business Group at Compaq Computer Corp.
“Compaq expects its most significant holiday sales season ever for our access products, and we are fully committed to delivering the highest-quality Windows XP computing experience for PC users.”

“We’re looking forward to the reliability and ease of use of Windows XP,”
said Shantanu Narayen, executive vice president of worldwide product marketing and development at Adobe Systems Inc.
“Windows XP is the release that we have been waiting for. By unifying the various Windows platforms, Microsoft is making it easier for Adobe to deliver award-winning Windows-based applications.”

Reporters, editors and analysts wanting more information about this announcement should join Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft, for a conference call on Wednesday, May 9 at 8:30 a.m. PDT. They can join the conference by calling (800) 399-0081; the conference call name is
“Microsoft Windows XP.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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