Windows 2000 release up in the air

Questions continue to swirl around Microsoft's monolithic Windows 2000 operating system, with speculation over the launch date running rampant as the company pulled yet another feature from the operating system.

In a keynote address at the Gartner IT Symposium in Orlando, Florida, last week, Microsoft president Steve Ballmer remained vague about the delivery of Windows 2000, saying only that it would ship sometime in the next several months.

A Microsoft software partner familiar with Microsoft's plans said the launch has been pushed back to February 2000, with widespread availability as late as April 2000.

On Monday, two other sources said Microsoft planned to release Windows 2000 to manufacturing in January. That would jibe with earlier reports, which stated that Microsoft's marketing machine wanted to avoid conflicts with year-2000 coverage. It also reflects the complexity of building the next-generation Windows NT client/server operating system.

"This is very reliable and set in stone," said one source, who requested anonymity.

A report on betanews.com indicated that Release Candidate 3 (RC3) of Windows 2000 would be finished on November 10, a week before the giant Comdex trade show, where Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates will kick off the proceedings with a November 14 keynote speech.

Nevertheless, other sources cautioned that talk of further delays might be premature, noting that Ballmer's assertions at the Gartner conference shouldn't be taken as a signal that the schedule has changed.

In fact, one source said officials at Microsoft are still targeting the start of Comdex for the release to manufacturers, with shrink-wrapped packages of the OS ready to hit the shelves by the end of 1999.

While the official launch date remains in question, one thing that is for certain about the final version of Windows 2000 is that it no longer includes Microsoft's in-memory database technology, which is designed to provide an extra level of cache-to-speed interactions between the OS and stored data.

While Karan Khanna, the lead product manager for Windows 2000 at Microsoft, explained away the feature's exclusion by pointing to SQL Server 7.0's caching capabilities as sufficient for most users, thereby obviating the need for the in-memory database, some feel the omission could leave a hole in Windows 2000's functionality.

"Unless they've formulated a new strategy for the database, structurally [removing] it doesn't make a whole lot of sense," said Brandon Thompson, an analyst at the Yankee Group, in Boston.

Jim Groff, the CEO of TimesTen, an in-memory database vendor, agreed, noting that his company has seen an increase in customer demand for the enhanced database performance provided by this technology.

One possible option for Microsoft now, according to both Groff and Microsoft's Khanna, is to develop and sell the technology as a separate product sometime down the road. However, Khanna would not commit to any plans, saying only that the company has gone back to the drawing board with the technology.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?