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Windows 2000 - Nine Months to Live 620

HeUnique writes "According the this story at The Register, Microsoft is planning to retire Windows 2000 as far as OEMs concerned. MS has asked OEMs to stop immediately the shipment dual-boot systems running Win2k/WinXP, so your choice now is either to upgrade to XP or else." Only if you're ordering systems running Microsoft Windows, though.
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Windows 2000 - Nine Months to Live

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  • by Brightest Light ( 552357 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:42AM (#3840810) Journal

    MS has asked OEMs to stop immediately the shipment dual-boot systems running Win2k/WinXP

    --What you say?

  • by RenQuanta ( 3274 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:42AM (#3840814) Homepage
    Here where I work, we've still not completed the rollover from NT to 2000, and I have yet to see a single XP system installed, even in a development lab. Even in the UNIX world, we're just now getting rid of the last of our Solaris 2.6 (*perhaps* by the end of the calendar year...)

    Does anyone else see massive fragmentation of Windows like this, just due to the extreme upgrade lag of production shops? If it is widely spread, what do people think this mean for Windows in the corporate world?

    In addition, is this just a product being retired, or is this a move by Microsoft to start boostrapping Palladium?
    • It shows that going with Microsoft products they dictate what systems you run and what solutions you take.

    • Note that I was not talking about transitioning Solaris 2.6 to Windows, I was talking about a version upgrade (Solaris 2.6-> Solaris 2.8)
    • Where I work (a large corporation), we never began the rollover from NT to 2000. We still run NT 4.0 on the desktop, and have no plans to move. We also use Office 97 . . . .
      • by AVee ( 557523 ) <slashdot AT avee DOT org> on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:14AM (#3840978) Homepage
        That's show a part of the problem MS runs into at the moment and one of the reasons behind Licensing 6.0. It's very hard to tell a company they need to upgrade their office suite when nothing has changed but the interface and the clip-arts. If office 97 works for them, they will never spend any money on getting a new version. The same is true for the OS, tell me one good reason for a company to upgrade the desktops from 2000 to XP. 2000 works, people know how it works, nothing more/new is needed.

        From a company's point of view windows and Office are fine the way they are now, just like they don't need a new type of screwdriver they don't need a new OS or office suite. Thats the big problem MS has at the moment, they have sold their software to almost everybody so now they will have to look for ways to make these people pay once more to be able to keep making profit on windows and office.
        • the only way microsoft will get people to stop using windows 2000 is to force all the hardware vendors to stop supporting and upgrading their windows 2000 drivers. i wonder if they can pull that off...
          • by psychosis ( 2579 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @12:43PM (#3842779)
            They already are - I just had to buy a large batch of Xircom PC Card modems for the truckload of spiffy new Dell laptops we purchased here. No NT drivers for the built-in modems whatsoever.
            My day was not darkened by this senseless expenditure, though. Why? Because the hardware vendor provides Linux drivers for the built-in card. I never thought I'd see the day!!
    • Upgrades are a difficult thing - for smaller businesses particularly. We are running a combination of Win95 and Win98, with NT for our domain server and HP-UX 10.20

      Upgrades are time consuming and costly. The only reason we will eventually upgrade is compatability with our vendors/customers. Until that time, Win98 is our OS of choice.

      And screw Microsoft's Volume Licensing change []. Save money by purchasing the right to purchase software at the current pricing before they raise prices.

    • We are just now getting Win2k workstations here, our servers are still NT 4.0. Most of our users are still on WIN 95, which microsoft dropped a while ago. I don't really see us buying all the 2000 liscenses tommorrow, but when we get new computers, they will be running 2000.
    • Maybe not fragmentation, but certainly we're seeing the same kind of thing you describe. We're just now seeing a migration onto Win2K for our Wintel servers, but the desktops are largely still NT4 -- with no immediate plans to upgrade... to anything. I've got XPpro on my work desktop, 'cos if I gotta run Windows, I might as well (Volume license edition doesn't require activation, BTW)... We still have quite a few Solaris 2.6 machines, even a couple of 2.51 boxen. There is a bit of pressure to get these to 2.8, but then, of course, Solaris 9 is shipping.

      I don't think this kind of upgrade lag is at all unusual.

    • In the government agency where I work (as a contractor), there is no XP. In the company I contract for, no XP. Just for fun, I emailed five programmers I know working in private industry. No XP.
    • All I see is the huge pain in the neck caused by having to rebuild all these brand new WinXP systems into Win98 boxes because thats what our standard platform is, and will be, unless we want Peoplesoft to stop working. M$'s OS schemes are pretty costly to us, but mostly because management will only buy from big name OEM's (Dell) because users don't want anything that isn't carrying a big brand name.

      M$ isn't considering that without 100% backward compatibility, they are putting alot of people in a bind, especially if they are using apps/systems that are tuned to specific OS's (like Win98)
  • They haven't released any sort of XP server have they?
  • Once you've accepted the EULA that allows them to install/uninstall software at will and disable software you installed, you're caught.

    Lots of people at work have been asking me about desktop unices since the latest crap from MSFT. I just hope that open source software is legal in most countries in a couple of years when MSFT springs enforced DRM on the populace.

    • ...when a company has so much influence that it can dictate your IT strategy to you through arcane licensing, and planned obsolescence of products that may otherwise be perfectly suitable. I'm looking forward to the day when users and businesses decide they've had enough, and tell Gate$ & Co. exactly what they can do with the new licensing and downgrades. It will be a great day indeed. Too bad I can only dream...few people have the moxie required to pull this off.

  • by gripdamage ( 529664 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:43AM (#3840821)
    Since M$ doesn't even have a replacement server product one can assume this is either false, or the reporter is talking about Windows 2000 Pro only (not Server) and failed to get his facts straight.
  • MS has asked OEM to stop immediately the shipment dual-boot systems running Win2k/WinXP Could someone point out why in the world would anyone order such a dreadful combination ? As if Win2K or WinXP don't cause enough headaches on their own...
  • Retire (Score:3, Funny)

    by rattler14 ( 459782 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:44AM (#3840826)
    Actually Win2K was forced into early retirement. The boss kept catching him crashing at his desk and leaving the backdoor open.
  • by kipple ( 244681 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:44AM (#3840827) Journal
    No way I'm going to run XP within my company. It's an OS that I don't trust, and haven't had the chance to learn well (and don't want to).

    So either I'm going to buy a couple dozen licenses of win2k soon,


    I'm going to use the existing licenses and don't care at all about licensing (call it non-violent resistance, whatever)


    I'm going to start spreading linux on desktop OSes.

    Plus, I don't want to upgrade to the Software Assurance thing, 'cause it's going to cost much more and it's not worthed (office 2000 is WAY better than office XP, and I don't want to upgrade - same for win2k/winXP) if you don't want to upgrade.

    In any way, Microsoft will lose one of its customers. And I think I won't be the only one.

    Anyone else taking care of a network of more than a couple dozen PCs does think like me?
    • by trazom28 ( 134909 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:07AM (#3840953)
      Wow..that's quite the "I don't like it and I don't wanna even try it" attitude. I use it for my home business.. runs fairly well *if* you tweak it right, like any program. Got a good friend who took the plunge and updated his machines at his company.. about 40 in his building.. works very smoothly *shrug*

      It's like anything.. if you can take the time and get it all done right.. it works great. If you slap it on a workstation and pray it works.. you get what you get.
      • chaos theory (Score:4, Interesting)

        by kipple ( 244681 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:56AM (#3841272) Journal
        mine it's more than "I don't like it and don't even want to try it". I had enough bad times trying to make all our win2k work together and I was lucky because I didn't have to tweak EVERY SINGLE installation of win2k I did.
        I know that I can manage something by using active directory to tweak at a registry-level every machine that logs into the domain, BUT
        - doing that requires a lot of time to plan, try, test and develop the tweaking
        - after the tweaking, basically all the xp machines will
        1. look
        2. be more ore less regular win2k boxen. So why bother? win2k is more than enough.

        PLUS: office XP is REALLY bad. I mean, we have an application (SAP) that is CERTIFIED to give back some results as an .xls spreadsheet. Works perfectly in office2000. Doesn't work AT ALL in office XP. Office XP is not fully compatible with office 2000.

        So why bother, again? I'm more than happy with win2k. I don't have time, resource AND enough interest to TRY to LEARN windows XP, not even for myself. I've had enough of that crap, and I realized that if I had spent that same much time that I've wasted on microsoft product on Linux instead, we all in our company would have linux desktops with openoffice working smoothly. And I wouldn't be writing those angry slashdot posts :)

    • by A_Non_Moose ( 413034 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @10:29AM (#3841557) Homepage Journal
      Anyone else taking care of a network of more than a couple dozen PCs does think like me?


      I run a GIS lab, and quite frankly most of the apps are geared for NT and are just now being moved to Win2k.

      Yeah, they say it *should* work (esri?) but don't gurantee it. You see there is something about GIS that requires you be able to run for days and in some cases bend to the OS of choice to gurantee stability. Strangly enuf, moved from Solaris to NT before I got here and now *thinking* about 2000.

      See, the point is: Microsoft is killing off its own profit (potential/actual/otherwise) because most of us Sys Admin types are just now warming to the use of 2000. ( I know I am just now getting there )

      I offer myself and another admin as an example:
      I've got a few dozen boxes to maintain and the other admin (with a pfy) has 2 labs with a few more than me.

      Ok, I'm testing, re-creating a SAMBA PDC before I even touch my server and anything beyond 2 trial boxes (NT to 2k migration).
      Issues: Need to upgrade SAMBA (a given) or just perform a couple of manual steps (for each account, ugh) to get win2k to connect to my PDC.
      Upgrade goes smoothly, everyone is happy...if something bombs out or goes wrong, I have 2 "outs" at the least.

      The other admin went from 98 to XP directly...migrated over the weekend, ran into massive compatability issue, network issue, viral infection issues (new or existing is not clear... prolly both from the users POV) main file server crashed to boot (or not to boot, in this case) and guess what? No backup, naturally.

      Instead of rolling back to "the way it was", well, he pressed on and is still having problems.
      I wonder why.

      I'd asked his co-hort/pfy if they'd considerd moving back until things could be tested further.



      I'd never thought I'd repeat/rephrase this from the military (related to drugs/XP), but;
      Not on My Machines,
      Not on My Network,
      Not on MY WATCH!

  • I bet the can't make my company upgrade. I'm still trying to get them to upgrade to 95.
  • Microsoft knows how to make money, so they'll just force all Win2000 users to upgrade to XP, and at the same time, have them replace all of their peripherals that are not XP compatible. My mom has a Canon printer (I forget the model number) that I tried to install on XP Pro. After researching the web, I found a statement at Canon's website stating that this particular printer is not supported in WinXP. Oh well, sucks to be a M$ user.
    • Hardware vendors seem to be falling into Microsoft's scheme of constant upgrade, too. "Sure, your printer is only 2 years old, and will last another 4, but we don't support that printer, it hasn't been produced in a year, and we have to focus on our newer products."

      We need a universal printer language for inkjets - this 4MB driver crap with special monitoring software for the print job, the printer activity, the printer cable, etc. is a waste of everyone's time. If they really want to bug us, they could just use Clippit for their interactive help.

  • Disturbing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrBlack ( 104657 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:45AM (#3840833)
    As a Microsoft developer I find this very disturbing. I think Windows 2000 is a very capable operating system for desktop use and small servers. My brief experiences with XP are that it is a little flakey(er?) than 2K, and all that WPA-invasion-of-privacy Gestapo crap makes me feel sick in the pit of my stomach. I use both Win2K and Linux at home (primarily Win2K) but I can see the day where the devide between my "home" computing life and my "work" computing life (which is all M$) will become like night and day. What about Win2K server? .NET server hasn't even hit the shelves yet AFAIK (or if it has it is still VERY new and unproved). Time to learn Java.
    • Re:Disturbing (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As a Microsoft developer I find this very disturbing.

      And yet you keep developing for the Microsoft platform.

  • It's been a long time coming, and quite frankly, those of us in the Windows world are pretty suprised it hasn't happened already. It's non-news.

    But then, The Register never misses an opportunity to write an article that makes MS look corrupt and evil. A lot like some other websites I know.
    • Maybe you could explain how this policy doesn't add further fuel to the "microsoft is corrupt and evil" fire then?

      For the record, I'm still running my same old copy of win98SE. Works great, no nasty privacy invasions that I have to disable.

  • by OptimizedPrime ( 558992 ) <> on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:48AM (#3840849)
    We get a lot of compaq desktops where I work with a "dual boot" on startup, but its not a dual boot in the same way that a linux/win2k dual boot syustem works. What happens is that you choose which OS you want to run the first time you start the computer, and the system then deletes the other one. The computer comes with a license for XP that can be downgraded to use with 2000, but not licenses for both. I believe some other OEMS do a similar dual boot, which seems to be what this is referring to. Disallowing this practice would mean that the consumer would be forced to load 2k themselves, rather then having it come preconfigured.
  • by suss ( 158993 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:48AM (#3840853)
    so your choice now is either to upgrade to XP or else...
    1. Or else they're going to give you some cement overshoes?

    2. Or else they'll kill this puppy?
      Or else the penguin on your tv will explode?
    And ofcourse the winning answer:

    Or else you'll switch to Linux?
  • by stevenbee ( 227371 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:49AM (#3840859)
    The Register confirms: Win2K is dying


  • Probably bull$hit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by billcopc ( 196330 )
    Microsoft sets a 5-year lifetime on all their OS products. Windows 98 is just about up now. Windows 2000 will therefore officially die (on paper) sometime in late 2004/early 2005. We all know Bill would like to sell us another hojillion copies of WinXP, but the truth is that the support contracts for Win2K are still valid for another couple of years. They can't just pull the plug like this, it opens them up to an easy class-action lawsuit. Although that wouldn't hurt their 40? billion bank account much, it would surely throw around an imperial storm cruiser-load of bad press and maybe finally take CNN's eyes off Pakistan.

    This isn't like some little free util going from freeware to cripple-ware or some other triviality. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of corporate users with long-winded paperwork to cover their asses against Microsoft. It's much more profound than the usual "This software has no warranties whatsoever" EULA trite.
    • Even if you're right, and it caused bad press, it wouldn't matter. Even in a best case scenario, where people get enraged (yeah, right), it wouldn't matter because Microsoft is a monopoly. All the software everybody needs was written for MS desktops, and is only tested on MS machines, so with a few exceptions, moving off the platform isn't viable.

      What really needs to happen is more large businesses to start supporting an effort to make *nix on the desktop more clearly viable. If even 10% of the fortune 500 companies decided it was worthwhile to spend $1m/year to make *nix desktops viable, we'd have $100m/year of development effort, all aimed at the areas that *nix isn't currently good at. We'd also end up with a lot more people who are capable of staffing a *nix desktop helpdesk, knowing how to admin *nix machines and what not, which would in turn help make the market easier to grow.

      bad press can't kill microsoft, big companies who realize that a moderate investment in *nix can save them a fortune in future licensing fees however, that could destroy microsoft.

  • Erk! (Score:3, Redundant)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:54AM (#3840883)
    This worries me somewhat. For the record I use Windows 2000 on the desktop and I'm perfectly happy with it (to the point of being accussed of trolling [] by some idiot who couldn't read).

    I see no real need to go to XP. Win2K does everything I need and pretty well. If I want development I fire up Linux and if I want games I run a bare bones cut down version of Win95 (with latest directx) which runs like the clappers.

    I can sort of understand why Microsoft want to do this, reduction of support costs, push to get people to move over to a largely unsucessfully taken up OS (saturation point has been reached where people have everything they want and don't see a need to upgrade) but at the same time I think that their 3 year support cycle is becoming more and more of an inconveniance - especially with this saturation.

    Now I've not really fiddled with XP that much, but is there anything really in there that would make Win2k people go "oooh oooh gotta upgrade now"? I was having a hard time finding anything.

    • "which runs like the clappers"

      what does that mean?
    • if I want games I run a bare bones cut down version of Win95 (with latest directx) which runs like the clappers.

      You mean you use a stripped down version of 98. Since 95 doesn't like DX8.1. That limits you a little. A few games won't run w/o DX8.1. The list will only increase as far as the number of games you won't be able to use. Once DX9 hits, and probably already, you won't be able to run most newer games.

      I see no real need to go to XP.
      At work, we call it 2K for idiots.

      is there anything really in there that would make Win2k people go "oooh oooh gotta upgrade now"?

      Can XP run Rainbow 6? I know 2K couldn't, but I don't exactly care either. 2K suits me quite well. I have a Raid array on my home system, and from all reports, XP doesn't get much of a speed benefit from having one, whereas 2K actually takes more advantage of it.

      I'm out.
      • if I want games I run a bare bones cut down version of Win95 (with latest directx)

      No, you don't []. Care to re-phrase that a little?

      • If I want games I run a bare bones cut down version of Win95 (with what i thought was the latest directx but isn't anymore)

        Hows that? :o)

        Shows how often I play games :o)

    • Predictable... (Score:3, Interesting)

      Someone said that Windows 2K and Windows XP are "Microsoft killers". They have finally come up with an operating system that works reasonably well. Sure, these latest Windows flavors have their problems, but nothing that would make one want to upgrade.

      And that is the nub. In the past, people snapped the latest Windows version like they were hotcakes, in hopes that this would finally be the Windows version that would solve all their problems. This is Microsofts problem: not the fact that there is something in XP that people would want, but the fact that Win2K is already doing a fine job.

      The only reason people will buy newer versions of Windows would be Microsoft forcing them to. Witness this move, and the recent "upgrade or pay triple for your licenses" extortion.
  • Dropped Support (Score:4, Informative)

    by Skidge ( 316075 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:54AM (#3840887)
    On a related note, did anyone else get this when they started up Internet Explorer this morning?

    Thank you for your interest in Windows Update

    Windows Update is the online extension of Windows that helps you get the most out of your computer.

    The latest version of Windows Update is only available on computers that are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

    I'm running Win98 and IE6 at work (web dev for clients that mainly use IE).

  • Really.

    Our shop is about 30% into our Active Directory Migration, Windows 2000 server based with XP clients logging in. (Say what you will, XP's security isn't AS BIG a deal if you've got a properly designed -- and segmented -- network)

    Migrating off Windows 2000 workstation should be something you're already doing - not keeping a proactive upgrade policy is just ASKING for trouble. (How is this any different from cycling your hardware out every three years for desktops and every two years for laptops? That's been a standard business practice for a very long time.)

    In any event, the forced continual upgrade path for Microsoft products and OS's keeps me employed and keeps me learning new stuff. It also makes those residual Windows 9x boxes in our department look even more prime for replacement. Management has dictated that those machines stay in place for political reasons...Our being able to say 'look, _Microsoft_ hasn't supported 9X for X years' helps us move those boxes forward.
    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:12AM (#3840971) Homepage
      Migrating off Windows 2000 workstation should be something you're already doing


      The company I'm contracting for at the moment is a large multinational financial organisation. It uses NT4, with a smattering of W2K.

      Why should they dump NT4? It does everything their typical users need. W2K is being used on some desktops and servers due to the deployment of .Net apps, and eventually a full firmwide W2K rollout will take place. But W2K. Not the untried, untested XP.

      I use XP Pro my machines at home. It has features that I want - faster boot times (useful on the laptop), user switching and remote desktop built in. So for me it's useful. None of those features are required on a corporate desktop. NT4 will run Excel, Powerpoint and Word (in that order of priority for most people) quite well enough. The rest of the apps are usually either custom or web-based anyway.

      Why upgrade? Why force users to learn a new desktop for no extra benefit? Why junk perfectly good hardware to get more powerful stuff just to run XP? What, in short, is the point?

      All the above is practical of course. I know the actual point, that MS doesn't want you to do it and so won't support or license it. However, this 'do as I say or else' attitude is just ludicrous. There's a huge installed base of NT4 in the corporate world, a tiny installed base of W2K and absolutely zero base of XP. MS should support its paying customers.


      • It has features that I want - faster boot times (useful on the laptop), user switching and remote desktop built in.

        IIRC, the desktop switching feature (pretty much the only reason I'd even consider using XP), doesn't work if the computer is joined to a domain...

      • by henley ( 29988 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:54AM (#3841260) Homepage

        I'd like to agree with Ian on this one, both on the blindingly cynical real reason for the upgrade (more beans for Microsoft), and on the even more compelling user-centric counter view to this.

        The only thing I'd like to add in this favour is that any competent organisation ought to be able to fight this push to upgrade with a really simple economic argument: Software solutions tend to get sold on a Return-On-Investment basis - If I buy an MS-Office based environment, my ROI over a period of time is given by:
        (increased productivity measured using appropriate methods) - (cost of software AND cost of hardware AND cost of supporting solution)
        (naturally, estimating the increase in productivity is where a lot of companies fall down, but you'd be amazed how many can't even estimate the second term in the above equation either)

        My point here, though, is dead simple: theres an implicit time term in the above equation such that the costs are amortized over a period of time. Modulo normal accounting depreciation etc, this implies that an organisation gets better ROI if they can keep the same solution for as long as possible. This directly conflicts with MSFT's desire to force regular upgrades (which increases the costs element of the solution whilst only marginally - if at all - increasing the productivity improvement size).

        As a good little corporate drone, it astounds me that more organisations haven't caught on to this and had a feedback effect on the IT industry as a whole - large corporate entities, especially financial institutions, should be cautious as all get-out when it comes to adopting new technologies or solutions. And yet we all blindly tread on the Shiny Thing treadmill, haemorraging money in a continual game of replacement and upgrade, fix and debug, for little gain.

        Bah. We should have stayed on those green-screen thingies with nice reliable mainframes behind them

        This has been an Old Phart Rant Courtesy of the letters M,S,F and T, and the day Monday

    •'s to be gainfully employed.

    • How is this any different from cycling your hardware out every three years for desktops and every two years for laptops? That's been a standard business practice for a very long time.
      Standard practice? I don't know what you're talking about, but there are still tons of Pentium-166 or even 486s out there running Word 6.0 or Office95/97 happily, not to mention those machines still running Clipper/dbase/FoxPro applications in DOS mode. Well, they are extremely stable (actually stabler than Linux in some cases, because a single task system, when it performs well, is unbeatable). What kind of standard business practice is this? Maybe in your company, but certainly not as standard as you might think. Okay, I understand that some of these standard practices came from the dotcom boom that created a bunch of money that had to find some exit route.

      So far, I found that Win2K is the best in terms of performance/stability point of view. Very well balanced. NT 4 was OK (after you apply all those megapatches), but was still shaky from time to time. Win2K is considerably better in both performance and stability. WinXP bent the curve downwards again by adding unnecessary features.

    • How is this any different from cycling your hardware out every three years for desktops and every two years for laptops? That's been a standard business practice for a very long time.

      Hardware wears out. Software doesn't.

      Hardware gets noticeably faster with each three-year generation, always a benefit. Software tends to add features that may or may not be beneficial depending on your needs.

  • saddenning (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <> on Monday July 08, 2002 @08:56AM (#3840893) Journal
    What saddens and bothers me most is that the brass at big companies that use a lot of offices and computers, but aren't actually software or silicon valley type companies don't have a clue about what MSFT is trying to rope them into.

    Where I work, we are still on NT4 and (thankfully) Office97 so there is no WPA in the system yet.

    The thing is, even if I went to my supervisor (which I already have) about such issues, the highest brass don't want advice even from their more technically oriented underlings. They just don't care or know enough to realise that they are getting hosed.

    Only in 5 years they will feel the noose tightening around their neck and by that point, it will be VERY hard to switch to other platforms, even though I expect that Linux will be very advanced by that time in comparison to today.

  • They are doing this because most businesses, including ours, have not standardized windows XP yet. Many of us are concerned about the effects of XP's DRM software and draconian EULAs.

    I can only hope that stuff like this has the opposite effect, pushing management away from microsoft altogether instead of towards it (like M% hopes).
  • How is that OEMs have so completely become Microsoft's whipping post? They are nothing more than MS's distribution channel. It would seem that OEMs would have some say in what they ship would it not? Unless MS declares that Win2K is no longer available for purchase, why can't vendors ship what their customers want? Ugh, no more MS posts today please, they are ruining my coffee.
  • What can we do? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oyenstikker ( 536040 ) < minus caffeine> on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:00AM (#3840915) Homepage Journal
    It used to be, when my [non-geek] friends asked me what kind of computer to buy, I told them to play around with Windows 95/98/2k and MacOS, and go with whatever they feel more comfortable with. (Yeah, I know this post will get modded down because I don't push *n?x, but they wouldn't be able to or want to use it.) If the only Microsoft option is Windows XP I'll just tell them to go buy and iMac or iBook. Microsoft isn't going to change its practices unless people STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS.
  • Seriously. This doesn't mean they're forcing an upgrade upon you. It doesn't mean you even have to stick with XP for mass purchases. If you're an individual, you might actually be able to make requests to get a specific flavor installed.

    I for one know that at my workplace, a hospital, we're just getting ready to switch to full on NT systems (that is, 2K). Sure, XP will work fine with that, but when we don't want to screw around with 2 different flavors of Windows, we won't have to. Besides that we don't exactly trust XP here. One of my team tried it on his laptop, for the hell of it. Ran great for about 4-5 months and then, very suddenly, screwed itself over. He put 2K back on.

    Companies and corporations that will need larger numbers of machines, say 5+, the major manufacturers will accomodate to what OS you need. My local United Way was, a year or two ago, going to get 3 new systems from Gateway (IIRC) and they would've been forced to take ME. I called Gateway on their behalf and got them to put 98SE on the machines.

    It's just a matter of knowing who to talk to.

    A remember people, don't agree to your EULAs! Can someone post a link to the EULA avoider? That's the worst thing you can do to lose your 2K machine. I'm sure that, had I agreed to mine, I'd wake up one morning to be running XP. That would anger me.
    • We upgraded to XP since January and have never looked back. But if what you say, actually happens for real, we'll be screwed big time. Guess we'll just have to wait a little longer and see by ourselves.
  • So will vendors be able to ship new dual boots with Linux/BSD/AmigaOS/MacOSX/BloatWareOS/DownTheStreet BehindTheWarehouseOS and WinXP? Or is it that M$ eventually wants all dual boots killed?

    Would be interesting to see how they take this and how consumers favour it.
  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:27AM (#3841041)
    They are not dropping support nor are they saying that support is being axed, as they have said for NT4/95. They are simply saying 9 months from now OEMs will have to ship XP and only XP. They are not forcing companies to migrate their infrastructure, they probably aren't even stopping the retail versions of XP. They are simply saying the OEM pricing of 2000 will go away. No biggie, and in this particular case their monopolistic crap is little more than a red herring. This is like any other company discontinuing production of a product, except their monopoly forces many more people to be impacted by such a decision. Even if there was a level playing ground, this would still happen.

    This is objectional because XP is too intrusive and the licensing is going over the line versus 2k, and while we may lament the passing of 2k, it also is a MS product, not competition being driven out. Personally, I think wine is approaching being a valid solution for running most windows applications now when necessary, and running windows applications is becoming less and less necessary (except for games) as other viable options appear. For office applications, there is openoffice and koffice, multimedia playback and encoding has at least caught up with Windows, if not passed it (though authoring still has a way to go). For CAD apps ProE is on the way, for 3D rendering there is blender (if the engine goes open source, interfaces may be made that cater to users of other applications). Everything for getting work done is coming in one form or another.
  • I have users wish/ask for upgrades from time to time:

    "Why don't we have Office XP?"
    "I need the latest version of Windows and Office on my PC"

    My answer is always the same. "If you can tell me three features that you need that the latest version of Windows or Office has then I'll get you that upgrade." No one has yet to tell me those features.

    It seems that Microsoft wants us to not think of that least they slow their revenue. Ever notice that all those flashy Microsoft commercials never seem to mention any new or useful features? The commercials never state that Windows NEW is better than the previous version let alone why.

  • Straight from the horses mouth.

    "Each Microsoft product follows its own "Product Support Lifecycle", which begins when the product becomes available, and ends when the product records low or zero support questions for a significant period of time."

    "By the time product support ends, most of our customers are using newer versions. For customers still using legacy products, Microsoft normally provides a six-month notice before ending support. Microsoft continues to make Self Service Support Options available after support concludes." 2F directory%2Fdiscontinue%2Easp

  • Most places I've worked won't install a Microsoft OS/Server product until service pack 3 comes out.

    They usually wait for the 1st service pack for development software.


    But as things stand, no one in the office where I work is using win2k, were all still NT.

    SQL server 2000 hasn't been accepted for production systems yet.

    An were all still using Office 97.

    There are no plans for .NET

    and I'm still fixing software running on windows 95.

    Even the microsoft freeks I've worked for before waited for a couple of service packs before installing anything (even if it came with MSDN).
  • I use XP as my main desktop, and one thing I really don't like is the way it automatically updates itself. Sure, it asks to you before doing it, but when it asks "Update Windows Media Player - security patch" I expect it to just patch the hole, not change the file setting of my machine so that files I previously opened in another application now open in Media Player (this happened to me the other day).

    The day I move to Linux as my desktop machine is getting closer and closer.
    • "The day I move to Linux as my desktop machine is getting closer and closer"

      I've been hearing this for over five years now yet I have yet to meet anyone who uses Linux as a desktop machine.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:33AM (#3841097)

    And yet another "UNIX killer" falls off the end of the upgrade treadmill.

  • I can see this move by Microsoft backfiring in a big way. With a tighter economy, in particular less revenue coming into a company, the emphasis is on cost cutting, not increased expenditure. It's clear Microsoft has set the path for higher operating costs this will annoy people from the CFO's who are pulling back the reins and saying, whoa there boy to the techies who are content and in some cases still doubtful over Windows XP's performance and stability.

    This could be a golden decision for Linux.
  • No really? I'm pretty sure this kind of thing has happened since the days of DOS. I mean I don't see OEM's bundling Windows 95 or 98 or NT 4. That would be ridiculous.
  • Spooky prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:50AM (#3841230) Homepage
    1. Dozens of posts saying "This will be the straw that finally makes Linux on the desktop a reality!"
    2. Angry anecdotes from a few IT guys saying that they are pushing their employers to consider ditching Microsoft.
    3. In the real world, the guys who actually make the decisions are suffering from fear, incompetence, laziness, tardiness or just good old fashioned inertia.
    4. Absolutely nothing changes other than that Microsoft gets a tighter choke hold on their customers.

    Seriously. Anyone still buying Microsoft today is doing so because they have to, because they're counting down the years until retirement and don't want to take a risk (nobody ever got sacked for buying Microsoft), or because they really are just too dumb to see that if they don't bail out before Palladium arrives, they'll never get out. I pity those people, but I don't expect any of them to suffer an attack of clue in the near future.

    • Re:Spooky prediction (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alienmole ( 15522 )
      I agree with most of your sentiments - as you say in your point 4, the truth is that this announcement doesn't change much. So Microsoft doesn't want to push any more Win2K Pro into the channel, for obvious reasons. But this doesn't really affect anyone's strategy, unless they were asleep at the switch.

      I've already provided my clients with a response to this latest news, which amounts to "continue upgrades to Win2K as already planned, avoid XP and .NET until further notice, continue working towards open solutions (e.g. Java application servers), and don't panic or get excited."

      I don't have to twist any arms, and nothing really changes. No-one's rushing to upgrade to XP, but similarly, no-one's rushing to move to non-Windows desktops, nor are they likely to in the forseeable future.

  • by obiwan ( 69039 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:51AM (#3841238)
    Ok People I have a couple of comments and something to think about:

    1. What about 3rd party applications? I work for an integrator that does IP telephony and traditional phone systems as well as networks.

    We have not even been able to transition to Win2K from 98SE for our field techs because many of the 3rd party maintenance packages only run under 98. Add to that new "web interfaces" for IP based products that only run under IE 5.01 with a specific version of the JVM. Not to mention the legacy products we support that require DOS based maintenance access programs!

    2. The main issue that many of the people posting here are missing is MONEY. I work on the pre-sales side of my firm and the number one issue with deploying ANY new technology into any client is always money. I have had $100,000 plus deals fall apart because they required a couple of $3000.00 routers to be added to the client's ageing network infrastructure.

    So when people start talking about how the costs of upgrading to XP from the software side, and how we should all be on proper "product lifecycles" and such, I have one question, do you realize the state most businesses are in right now? Many of my clients are canceling all IT upgrades and initaves for the remainder of the year.

    Comment #2

    Now I may be trolled out for this one, but I due to the reasons above the IT guys in my firm can't move to Linux on the desktop even if we wanted to. Why? Legacy 3rd party applications, tools supplied by vendors built on Microsoft technology.

    Ok so even if I got all the issues with ease-of-use, support, document compatibility and user training. I still can't move to linux because we have major line-of-business applications that only run on windows. For example, our accounting package (>$100000 invested in the last 3 years, so don't even talk about scraping it), our customer service ACD monitoring package ( a whole market that has next to no presence on Linux) and our remote monitoring and alarming system for client sites. All run on windows back-ends and have only windows clients. Even the newer ACD package which can be setup totally web based requires IE. So we're stuck.

    What I (and I am sure many others also) need to move to Linux is an inexspensive and 100% compatible Windows API Layer for Linux, then I could slowly move my clients to Linux.

    Now don't get me wrong, I am using Linux as our web proxy, I use sendmail for our marketing newsletter mail-outs. I am going to place an e-smith server in front of our exchange servers for the virus scanning service offered and to help filter SPAM. (Plus I can toss Mcafee and ITS high fees) I am even looking to replace our old Access97 based service database with a Linux/Apache/PHP/MySQL based web app. And THAT one is solely to avoid having to upgrade my Access licences.

    So I put it back to the community of Slashdotters, how can one cut the ties to windows, when so much of thier business processes are tied to it and with shrinking IT bugets?

  • by BitMan ( 15055 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @09:52AM (#3841248)

    According to the Microsoft MCSE FAQ [], they are planning to retire the MCSE 2000 concurrently with the retirement of MSCE XP/.NET and not before.

    "MCSEs on Windows 2000 will not be required to pass Windows XP Professional/.NET Enterprise Server exams to retain certification. The Windows 2000 exams and the Windows XP/.NET Enterprise Server exams of the MCSE certification are expected to remain available concurrently. Retirement schedules for all exams are affected by a number of factors, including the needs of the industry and release of the next version of the Windows operating system (code-named "Blackcomb")."

    This makes sense because they haven't even gotten some of their own study materials out for MCSA 2000 until recently, let alone MCSA/MCSE XP/.NET exams are still being introduced. God I hope so, I've just started investing into a MCSA cert (which I hope to have this month) that I plan to upgrade to a full MCSE within a month after that.

    But you never know when a vendor moves to "push product." And that's the #1 motivation behind for-profit vendor certifications.

  • by tshoppa ( 513863 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @11:23AM (#3842216)
    I thought the date on the Microsoft OS box was the expiration date, just like on canned and boxed food.

    e.g. Win 98 went bad in 1998, etc.

  • by Archie Steel ( 539670 ) on Monday July 08, 2002 @12:16PM (#3842613)
    In an (modest) effort to counter MS's Palladium coup, I've started convincing those around me who won't switch to Linux to stick to Windows 2000. I'm actually having a rather easy time doing this (much easier than converting Windows users to Linux, unfortunately): most people who have Windows 2000 are happy with it and don't see much incentive to move on, especially if you replace their icons with WinXP-like clones (ah, the power of icons...). The motto seems to be: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" (something I must keep repeating myself every time I feel the urge to upgrade my Linux boxen).

    I keep thinking this should be bigger though: we should all put MS in a tight spot and hail Win2k as their best offering so far...they can't say it sucks (after all it only came out, what, three years ago?), but at the same time their business plans hinge on the fact that people will naturally upgrade OS every two years or so. So we need to start a movement: I'd call it the Great Microsoft OS Freeze...basically, tell people to stick with their OS if it works (Win98 or Win2k) if they won't switch to Linux, *BSD or OS X...I think you'll find a lot of receptive ears...

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle