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Study: Windows Migrations Progress Slowly

Dragging your feet on a Windows 2000 server deployment? You're not alone, according to a new study from market researchers at IDC.

Rolling out the Windows 2000 Active Directory continues to serve as a major roadblock for organizations in getting to Windows 2000, and that new directory service technology may be keeping those organizations from even considering moves to subsequent operating systems such as Windows XP clients and the forthcoming Windows .NET servers, IDC found in a survey of more than 300 IT managers.

"Most Microsoft customers will continue to follow the Windows roadmap, with broad plans for Active Directory deployment," says Al Gillen, research director for IDC's Operating Environments service. "However, users say their movement to Microsoft's latest operating systems will proceed on their schedule, not on Microsoft's schedule."

Three quarters of the respondents said that less than half of their server systems have been updated or deployed new with Windows 2000, Gillen says. "Probably only a third of the systems out there are Windows 2000," Gillen estimates. A disproportionate number of the most comprehensive deployments appeared in smaller shops, as well, the IDC survey showed.

Of the respondents, IT managers known to have Windows NT or Windows 2000 installed, 36 percent said they delayed their Windows 2000 rollouts because of complexity associated with Active Directory.

As for licensing, IDC's survey indicated that Microsoft's controversial Licensing 6.0 program isn't having a major effect on IT manager's rollout plans. However, a notable percentage is angry over the increased cost of the revised software licensing. About 15 percent of respondents said Licensing 6.0 gave them an incentive to seek alternative products.

But Gillen says, "The bigger picture shows that few customers will be replacing their Microsoft technology with alternate products over the short term, so competitive products need to continue to offer a strong story of interoperability with Microsoft environments."

About the Author

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