Welcome to this ARN Windows XP Special Edition!
A few years ago, Andy Grove of Intel coined the phrase "inflection point" to describe those events and developments that signify a real departure or change from the norm. I feel that the launch of Windows XP may well be such an inflection point.
Microsoft has been working for some years to unite the two Windows product families - one based on the Windows 9x code base and one built on the more modern Windows 2000 code base. We wanted to combine the ease of use, device support, connectivity and multimedia functionality of Windows 9x with the rock-solid reliability, tight security and scalability of Windows 2000.
Windows XP is the result of these years of development and most independent observers agree that it is the most impressive desktop operating system yet. They have recognised that it represents a significant advance in functionality and reliability that will be of real value to businesses and individuals alike.
Microsoft's business model is built on the fundamental premise that we are only successful if our partners are successful. This is why we have made a multimillion-dollar investment in the Australian launch of Windows XP, which has included a substantial investment in helping our local partners. We think that Windows XP will provide Australian channel organisations with an almost unprecedented business opportunity, whether they are focused on home users, small businesses or enterprise-scale deployments.
This support for the channel is ongoing and our channel teams have put extensive plans in place to ensure that training and support are available for you and your staff; and our market team has planned an extensive launch campaign to boost awareness and excitement around the launch.
Be sure to come and see Windows XP in action at either the launch event on October 25 or our channel-only training sessions. The training events in capital cities during November are designed to provide you with information and sales material so that you can get out there and sell Windows XP. Check out www.microsoft.com/australia/partner and www.microsoft.com/australia/events/ for more details.
In the meantime, I'd like to thank ARN and our loyal channel partners for their continued support and I look forward to a great launch and our mutual success.
Paul Houghton is the managing director of Microsoft Australia and New Zealand