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SF Gate: Whither Windows 2000? Industry turns a skeptical eye to new Windows OS

Mar 01, 2000, 20:24 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

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"In September, the marketing boys in Redmond pushed to change the name of the new product from Windows NT 5.0 to Windows 2000, in anticipation of a unified Windows platform. But by then, to the engineers the writing was already on the wall: they weren't going to make it...."

"But why did they give up on their more ambitious goals? Windows NT 4.0 had held up Microsoft's enterprise strategy successfully for four years -- what would another six months matter? Or even another year? But then, if you were the world's leading software vendor, and a rival operating system -- one that was readily available and charged no licensing fees -- appeared out of nowhere to challenge your flagship product, that might have a way of lighting a match under your ass."

"For Microsoft, though they don't like to admit it, that challenger is Linux. While analysts estimate Windows NT owns about a 32 percent share of the server market, Linux has rocketed into second place in recent months, capturing about 24 percent."

"Its growth is incredible, especially compared to more venerable Unix-based OS offerings from companies like Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics and IBM, each of which holds a loyal, but more modest market share. And this is without any marketing campaign to speak of, very little bundling with PC systems and certainly no activities that would attract the attention of the Department of Justice."

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