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 Windows 2000 - How have Indian companies responded?

"When Windows 2000 (W2K) was launched in February 2000, it was thought that it would be the only operating system to be used over every platform from desktop to datacentre. Unfortunately, many companies did not incorporate W2K.

Features like limited plug and play capability, lower-end hardware and considerably higher cost thwarted this expectation. Lack of aggressive marketing might also have affected W2K's success. This lack of focus over the marketing of W2K could be the result of Microsoft's (MS) concentration on United States Department of Justice's anti-trust motion during the launch.

W2K ended up as another (improved) version of Windows NT 4. But the anticipated success of W2K has not materialized as many NT users are not considering upgrading to this version which is much costlier than the existing ones. If the market side of a coin tells that factual story, the technological side of the coin tells another another. Managers at pioneering information technology are satisfied with its longer server uptime, better manageability and fewer help desk calls, but the cost has put many companies in dilemma.

Organizations around the globe who have upgraded to W2K have expressed satisfaction and a senior technical architect from a Californian company said, "It has gone exceptionally well…" and he went on to deploy W2K to 600 users in the company's other 63 offices. There have been some memory leaks on domain controllers, and setting login scripts using group policies have failed. These are the only problems he's faced so far. That's the experience of a foreign W2K user.


Sundar N B, Marketing Manager, Microsoft India, clarifies for the lesser market trend in India, " Seventy five per cent of windows servers in India still run on NT 4. We do not intend to push W2K in this market segment." He is aware that for W2K to succeed, it has to target big companies that run on critical applications having huge networks. W2K's active directory services are the best package for such networks.

Also the higher end versions like Datacentre that are to be launched soon by MS are designed to manage clusters of servers and very high transaction volumes. These versions are going to be positioned at the high-end server market that is currently dominated by 64 bit UNIX platforms of HP, IBM, Compaq and others.

It is however understood that MS is expecting a market in India for its lower end products of W2K as well. Lesser market response to such lower end versions is not new to MS. It has answered to similar market conditions with its time-tested recipes. A similar situation prevailed during the launch of Windows 95 when Windows 3.1 was the popular platform. N B Sundar is optimistic, "We expect eighty percent of all new shipments to be of Windows by the middle of next year."

With companies building pros and cons list to upgrade the existing platform with W2K and Microsoft's marketing focusing on higher end versions of it, debate is on to know whether W2K will prevail or not.

Quotable quote: "In case any one plans to roll out W2K in the second quarter of next year, start planning today; it will take that long to plan your Active Directory structure and test applications." - Michael Silver, an analyst.

Source: Express Computer


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