Compaq preps Presario line for XP upgrade

New Presario PCs from Compaq will be shipped ready for upgrade to Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, Compaq announced on Wednesday.

A Compaq spokesman said that all Presario Internet PCs and notebook computers shipped after Wednesday will be Windows XP compatible, prepared in a way to facilitate upgrade from Windows 2000. The way Compaq claims to achieve this is by installing an image of Windows 2000 and other software on the Presarios that will allow users to upgrade to Windows XP without having to re-install all the other software.

Each will ship with a reference card in the box offering specific instructions on how to get the Windows XP software upgrade through the mail, for a nominal charge "in the range of (US)$10 to $20" to cover shipping and handling, said Will Townsend, Compaq's manager for the access computing group.

New Presarios will also come installed with Norton Internet Security -- a suite of firewall security, privacy protection, ad-blocking and antivirus software from Symantec Corp.

Compaq will also offer a sports game package from Electronic Arts Inc., for selected Presario 5000 and 7000 series desktop retail models. The gaming package includes full versions of Madden NFL 2001, Triple Play 2001, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2001, Need for Speed -- Porsche Unleashed and SimCity 3000 Unlimited.

The Presario 4090 PC, retail priced at US$649, will be available July 1. The retail model sports a Duron 900Mhz processor from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., 128M bytes of SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory), a 30G-byte hard drive, an 8X CD-RW drive, two USB (universal serial bus) ports, two PS/2 ports, and two open expansion slots; one PCI slot and one 4x AGP slot.