A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed reports that some PC vendors will ship Windows 2000 systems several weeks before the operating system's official launch, on February 17.
"It's not a big deal," said Shannon Rudd. "Some OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] will be ready with some product lines before February 17, but that's when we will have general availability."
Rudd said most manufacturers received the final Windows 2000 code when it was released to manufacturing in December, and that they are free to start shipping certain Windows 2000 models when ready.
In December, Compaq announced that its iPaq systems would ship with Windows 2000 from January 24. Compaq confirmed on Friday that several other systems, including desktops, laptops and servers, would ship before February 17.
A source close to IBM said several Windows 2000 product lines, including ThinkPad 600 notebooks and PC 300 and IntelliStation desktops, will also start shipping on January 24.