Resellers specialising in the small business space are likely to start seeing the first effects of the so-called "Y2K refresh cycle" in the near future, according to Microsoft speakers at its Fusion 2002 partner conference in Melbourne this week.
Chris Ridd, group business manager for medium organisations at Microsoft, said 55 per cent of Microsoft's small business customers are running Windows 9x or NT, and 40 per cent are running productivity software as old as Office 97. With Y2K now more than two and a half years ago, resellers can expect some healthy sales in coming months.
Alex Keay, group manager for SMB channel programs, said small businesses are on a shorter refresh cycle than larger businesses as they tend to be more dynamic and adaptive to changing market conditions.
Cliff Reeves, vice president of Microsoft's server group, said most customers the vendor has surveyed are planning on refreshing their infrastructure in the near future. Many are looking to rationalise their server platforms, if not standardise on one. Reeves said 50 to 60 per cent of deployed Windows servers are NT4-based, and with a refresh cycle of two to four years, these servers will soon need to be replaced.
For ARN's in-depth coverage of Fusion 2002, including Microsoft's impending $5 million soft-dollar splurge and how the software giant is ready to redress its tarnished image on the aggressive way it goes to market with services, read next week's issue of ARN, out on Wednesday, August 21.