The company is counting on the new operating system to drive its .Net strategy of pervasive computing. With built-in features such as instant messaging and notification - two components of its Hailstorm Web services initiative - Windows XP is pegged as the first major operating system release to come from Microsoft since Windows 95.
In a statement this week, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Microsoft's decision to launch the operating system in New York represented a revival of the city after the terrorist attacks which toppled the World Trade Centre towers and killed thousands.
"Microsoft's launch of Windows XP in our city is an affirmation of the business community's continuing commitment to New York City remaining the business capital of the world," Giuliani said. "It is another example of the fact that New York City is open for business."
While 25 October is the official launch date for Windows XP, customers can already get the operating system from PC manufacturers.
Compaq and Hewlett-Packard have unveiled a series of computers featuring the operating system, and made them available through their direct sales channels. Other PC makers, including Gateway and Dell, have also started selling PCs configured with the operating system.