Week in review: Spotlight on new OSes

Software makers are busy tweaking operating systems, with Apple Computer introducing its first major upgrade to Mac OS X and Microsoft putting the finishing touches on Windows XP.

Apple will release on Saturday an operating system update designed to improve performance and add capabilities to the original version of Mac OS X. Mac OS X 10.1 will be available free for OS X owners through Apple's stores and other Mac retailers. The update is free through Oct. 31 at the stores. If ordered from Apple, it costs $19.99. The boxed version, which costs $129, will also be available Saturday.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that it will launch. Windows XP, its newest operating system, at the Marriott Marquis Theatre in the heart of New York's theater district. Top Microsoft executives, along with key industry figures, will be present at the launch Oct. 25, less than two months after the gruesome terrorist attacks on the city's World Trade Center.

The tech industry will soon find out whether Windows XP will encourage wary consumers to spend their money on new systems for home and office. This week, PC makers including Compaq Computer, Dell Computer and Gateway unveiled new systems pre-loaded with the latest Microsoft operating system. Prices start around $750 for desktop models without monitors and $999 for laptops.

Microsoft has set Nov. 28 as the release date for Windows XP Embedded, the next version of the company's software designed for devices such as slot machines, cash registers and set-top boxes. The company will release the product at its Windows Embedded Developers Conference in Las Vegas.

News source: ZDNet

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