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Windows XP debut set for New York City

Microsoft is to officially launch the operating system at a Times Square theater, a move that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says shows the business community's commitment to the city.

Microsoft is hoping to make a big splash on Broadway.

The software giant announced Tuesday 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.

Microsoft's commitment to launch Windows XP far from its Redmond, Wash., headquarters runs counter to a more widespread trend in which companies are canceling appearances by executives at trade shows and conferences around the country and abroad.

Citing safety concerns, Apple Computer last week said it was canceling its Apple Expo in France, which was scheduled to begin Wednesday. Handheld maker Palm is postponing its annual PalmSource developer conference, scheduled for late October in San Jose, Calif. RSA Security said Tuesday that it was canceling its RSA Conference in Europe and conducting the event online instead.

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Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said last week that he planned to keep the launch of Windows XP in New York.

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that Microsoft's decision shows the business community's commitment to the stricken city.

"It is another example of the fact that New York City is open for business," Giuliani said in a statement.

Added Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, "While the city is forever changed, we want this event to help remind the world that New York still represents strength and determination."