Continuing to outline its broad commitment to Windows 2000, IBM last week said it would offer free upgrades from Windows NT 4.0 Workstation to Windows 2000 Professional, a new technical support program, and new server hardware to be unveiled later this month.
The new Windows 2000 Ready PC Program, to be in place by year's end, will be staffed by some 500 certified engineers.
The program will offer a range of technical services and support for thin clients, portable and desktop systems, according to Phil Hester, chief technology officer for IBM's Personal Systems Group.
"Users are telling us they want us to work together closely with Microsoft on Windows 2000 so there will be as few surprises as possible," Hester said.
Claiming that IBM has the largest installation of systems in the world, about 250,000 systems (servers and clients), Hester said IBM intends to install Windows 2000 on all its clients by the end of next year.
IBM officials also announced last week it has joined Microsoft's Rapid Deployment Partner program, where IBM will get a number of support services to help users install, configure and implement the upcoming operating system.