XP SP2 Launch Price: $300 Million

Microsoft plans to spend about $300 million to support the launch of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP2), company officials said.

The security-centric XP update, which enjoyed top billing at this week's TechEd conference, will be available as a "critical" download via Microsoft's Windows Update feature and will ship with all new PCs as part of an agreement with OEMs and computer retailers.

In an interview with internetnews.com, Tony Goodhew, product manager in Microsoft's Developer Group, said a chunk of the $300 million campaign will be spent working with OEMs to get the service pack installed on new PCs. "We'll be working with retailers like CompUSA and BestBuy to have SP2 installed on all new machines, even those that were shipped to the stores without the upgrade," he said.

"Ideally, every PC in the store will have SP2 pre-installed. For those computers that ship to retailers without the upgrade, we're working to get the upgrade installed at the time of the sale to the consumer. The customer will be able to wander into store, buy a machine and walk out with SP2 installed."

News source: InternetNews.com

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