- 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
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