Industry Standard: Microsoft Has a Date for Windows 2000

“In an internal e-mail to development staff, Windows 2000
leaders on Wednesday congratulated the team for meeting a key
milestone of the third and final beta, and set a goal for shipping
the final version: Oct 6.

The timetable, which also lays out several interim milestones,
affords plenty of wiggle room. Knowing that enterprise customers
demand much higher reliability than consumers, Microsoft has
pledged not to ship Windows 2000 until it’s good and ready. But the
breathing room may not be needed. The team is riding what one
Microsoft source familiar with the progress described as a revival
since Brian Valentine replaced Moshe Dunie as project lead.”

“Microsoft officials have long pegged Windows 2000, until
recently known as NT 5.0, as the highest priority at the company.
Just last week, President Steve Ballmer – no slouch himself
when it comes to firing up the troops – told the Windows 2000
team that its product was the only important software project of

The operating system, which Microsoft hopes will propel it into
markets now dominated by computers from IBM, Sun Microsystems,
Hewlett-Packard and others, is a key component of its Internet
strategy. As more transactions, commerce and communications take
place over company networks and the Internet, the software of the
next decade will increasingly run on huge, data-crunching systems,
as well as on televisions, phones and handheld computers –
not on PCs. Microsoft needs to translate its PC desktop stronghold
into success in both larger and smaller machines.

According to sources at last week’s meeting, Ballmer emphasized
that Windows 2000 must run the Web’s largest sites. He cited
Amazon.com, which runs its service on Unix servers, as the type of
high-profile site Microsoft needs to win over. (Amazon’s fierce
rival Barnesandnoble.com was one of the customers featured in
Ballmer’s speech at the launch of Microsoft’s SQL 7.0 database last
November at Comdex.)”

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