Microsoft to boost Windows 2000 app compatibility

Microsoft is rallying software vendors around its forthcoming release of the Windows 2000, Beta 3, offering an Application Readiness Program designed to ensure software compatibility with the highly anticipated operating system.

After being criticised for having a low percentage of applications claiming compatibility at such a late stage, Microsoft officials were quick to point out that Windows 2000 will not be released until all major applications are ready.

"I really don't understand that perception," said Craig Beilinson, product manager for Windows 2000 Professional Edition. "The changes that we made in the code that might make programs less compatible weren't even made in Beta 2, but are in Beta 3 instead," which is due out in April.

Beilinson warned that the security features being added to Beta 3 may cause compatibility problems with some programs, and ISVs should take heed.

"We are trying to ensure high reliability," Beilinson said. "Customers and ISVs should not assume compatibility."

The Application Readiness Program will kick off with the rollout of Beta 3 in April. Though Microsoft officials say they have been working with many software vendors along the development cycle of Windows 2000, the final Windows 2000 Application Specification will be available at the company's Web site.

In addition, the company will begin training and certification programs throughout the year, as well as opening up Windows 2000 application testing labs around the world so software vendors can test their software's compatibility.

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