Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system has finally entered the manufacturing stage, suggesting it is on track for its February 17 release.
Three Windows 2000 products -- Windows 2000 Professional, the desktop client; Windows 2000 Server; and Windows 2000 Advanced Server -- were released to manufacturing. A fourth offering, Windows 2000 DataCenter, is still in production and is expected to be released in 2000.
As part of the product's development in Australia, the vendor invited some of its customers to review the product in a rapid deployment program. By pointing to several companies that are already deploying Windows 2000, Microsoft executives tried to damp down conventional industry wisdom that corporations should wait until the first service pack is released before rolling out the OS.
"Microsoft is making the case, subtly perhaps, that companies are moving forward on this based on their experience with the betas and release-candidate code and [that] you don't want to miss the boat by waiting too long to roll this out," said Dwight Davis, a Kirkland, Wash.-based analyst at Summit Strategies.
On a local front the West Australian department of Education, online share trading company ShareTrade and Westpac Bank are three Australian groups who piloted the progam and all three wax positive.
The manager for Technology and Telecommunications for WA's Education department Bevan Doyle said Windows 2000 is more stable, user friendly and feature-rich than previous versions and as a result will reduce down time and improve management of our operating environment.
CIO for ShareTrade John Bellingham also said Windows 2000 reduced down time through reliability.
Brian Roberts, Senior Manager for Planning Architecture and Control for Westpac noted the operating system had the potential to help the bank achieve its goal of lower cost of ownership.