Sting will help Microsoft launch its new Windows XP operating system with a free concert Thursday (Oct. 25) in New York's Bryant Park. Dedicated to the people of the city, the hour-long concert will b

Sting will help Microsoft launch its new Windows XP operating system with a free concert Thursday (Oct. 25) in New York's Bryant Park. Dedicated to the people of the city, the hour-long concert will be Webcast via Microsoft's online MSN portal, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

"This concert gives us a chance to recognize the courage and resiliency of New York as we launch a new age in personal computing with Windows XP," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in a statement.

Tickets for the free show will be distributed at select locations of various New York retailers. The stores handing out the tickets are CompUSA (57th St. and Broadway, 5th Ave. and 38th St); FYE (6th Ave. location); Gateway Country (Park Ave. and 17th St., Columbus Circle, East 86th St.); J&R Computer and Music World (15 Park Row); Virgin Megastore (Times Square); and Best Buy (Secaucus, N.J., Queens, N.Y.).

The Webcast will be available through a site within MSN's music offerings, http://music.msn.com/sting/. The site will also feature information on the artist and his upcoming live album, "All This Time," due Nov. 20 from A&M/Interscope. The concert will be available for viewing on demand through the site for one week following the event.

As previously reported, "All This Time," renamed from "... on such a night," was recorded on Sept. 11 in Tuscany, Italy, in front of a small number of invited friends and contest winners. A Webcast was initially intended, but due to the terrorist attacks on that day it was limited only to the song "Fragile." A companion DVD will be released in early December, around the time of a handful of live dates the artist has set up in support of the album's release.

"Thursday's concert and worldwide Webcast will allow me to complete the project we chose to abandon due to the horrific events on Sept. 11," Sting added. "I am especially pleased to do this in the city most affected, and in solidarity with all New Yorkers. I am grateful to Microsoft for giving me the opportunity."

At Sting's request, Microsoft will make a donation of software to two New York schools affected by the Sept. 11 attacks in thanks for his participation in the concert.