W2K reaching mass market: Microsoft

One year after its release, adoption of Windows 2000 is reaching mass adoption status in New Zealand, Microsoft claims.

One year after its release, adoption of Windows 2000 is reaching mass adoption status in New Zealand, Microsoft claims.

Although the company would not give figures, Microsoft national sales manager Chris Thodey says uptake of the operating system has been “better than expected” and evenly spread across large, medium-sized and small organisations.

Large sites that have deployed W2K include Waitemata District Health Board and the law firm Phillips Fox. Telecom has selected Windows 2000 Professional, as well as Exchange Server 2000 and Office 2000 Professional, for all its desktop computers under a three-year licence worth $12.5 million. Auckland University is also planning to migrate to W2K over the coming years.

Thodey says government departments and large corporate accounts have received W2K software under their enterprise licensing agreements, although they may not have installed it yet.

To ease the installation process Microsoft New Zealand is supporting a new suite of management tools and methodologies from systems integrator Axon. Called AME (advanced management environment) it aims to help organisations install and manage W2K and Windows NT environments.

Thodey says Microsoft’s technical people have looked at AME to ensure it complies with best practice and leverages the Microsoft utilities available and are “very comfortable” with the product.

However, he emphasises that in terms of planning for W2K deployment and the skills and methodologies needed, the approach hasn’t changed from what it was for any implementation of Windows. "People need to do a solid professional job and they need to do testing.”

Windows marketing manager Jay Templeton doesn’t think W2K installation is any more difficult than Windows NT. As a consultant he has taken part in 10 large W2K deployments. “It wasn’t hard once we’d done the planning. The amount of effort in terms of training material and preparation was the same [as for NT]. Admittedly if I’d grabbed it off the shelf I would probably have had trouble, but with appropriate training, pre-planning and technical tools it wasn’t hard to install.

“The technology isn’t an issue - it’s the processes and people, and that’s where something like AME can be useful.”

‘Don’t delay XP’

Windows XP, which combines Windows ME and Windows 2000, is slated to ship in July. Should organisations be holding off their W2K roll-out until XP is available?

Templeton’s answer is an emphatic "no".

“Don’t wait because everything you can do on Windows 2000 today you’ll be able to do on Windows XP in future.

“I don’t think corporate people are waiting for XP. It is targeted at the consumer who wants the benefits of Windows 2000 in the home environment. There’s a very small differential between Windows 2000 and Windows XP.”

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