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Windows 2000 Goes RTM

Windows 2000 is almost here. Microsoft Corp. and 100 of its closest customers declared the code gold -- and Team Redmond began putting into the hands of hardware OEM’s today.

The code was actually considered ready for RTM on Monday, when Microsoft met its shipping criteria.

Microsoft’s group vice president of the platforms group, Jim Allchin, said that Microsoft had 4 criteria to ensure that the OS was ready to be installed at customer sites.

First, the company wanted a specific number of systems for extensive deployment. Within Microsoft alone, it was installed in production on more than 50,000 clients and 1,500 servers.

Second, Microsoft also wanted to reach specific numbers for compatible third-party applications and hardware. The top 500 desktop business applications and the top 100 server applications needed to be able to run on Windows 2000. More than 4,000 systems are on the hardware compatibility list.

Deborah Willingham, a vice president of marketing at Microsoft, says that 86 server applications and 500 desktop are currently compatible out of the box. Also, 3,500 printers, 4,200 modems and 700 network devices are compatible.

The third shipping criteria was stress testing. Microsoft wanted to run 1,500 servers in a production environment with the equivalent of a 3-month load overnight.

Finally, the company wanted all partners involved to sign off, stating that the OS’s are ready for production environments.

Allchin also says Microsoft had four design goals for Windows 2000: to deliver a reliable and available OS no matter what the computing environment; to take a step forward in the TCO of clients and servers; to enable the next-generation of Web-based computing; and to integrate the best of Windows 98 with that of Windows NT Workstation.

"It’s been a long road, a three-and-one-half year road," Microsoft’s Allchin says.

The road, however, isn’t over just yet. Although the code is finalized, Microsoft still has to burn it onto discs, print manuals, build boxes and ship it to stores.

Putting the finishing touches on the Microsoft executive mantra, Brian Valentine says, "We said we wouldn’t ship until it’s ready, and today it’s ready." – Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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