According to US media, computer makers will begin installing the new operating system on new machines next month, ready to sell as soon as they complete testing.
Microsoft could send out final copies, or gold code, to the makers as early as next week, the reports claimed. Typically, the manufacturers need four to six weeks to complete tests.
This would allow makers to have new PCs with Windows XP installed on sale by 17 September. The same reports also claim that Microsoft has told the vendors not to promote products running XP until 12 October.
Previously, PC makers have sold both Windows ME and 2000 before their official dates. The vendors want XP systems on sale as early as possible to revive a flagging market.
Microsoft has not commented on the reports, other than to say that it is on schedule for its 25 October launch. An early release could help the company beat a possible injunction which would prevent the Windows XP launch going ahead.
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