Windows 2000: The word from SMEs

This distrust of the OS's reliability, founded on the notorious instability of previous versions of Windows NT, will see a lot of corporates waiting until they're sure all the bugs are ironed out before installing the upgrade.

A spokesperson for the NSW Police Force said the organisation would wait at least 12 months before installing Windows 2000 on its 8000 PCs. "Microsoft will always have bugs," the spokesperson said.

Rod Gillespie, of stockbroking and analysis software company RM Gillespie & Associates, plans to upgrade his existing Windows 95 platform to Windows 2000 Professional "later this year". He said he had previously attempted to upgrade from Windows 95 to 98, without success. Gillespie is certain the first available version of Windows 2000 will have bugs. "There is a confidence issue," he said of his decision to roll out the OS.

Stephen Fennelly, financial controller for Quirk's Refrigeration, said his company intended to install Windows 2000 on its 35 PCs in June "when we've got our new budget". He said his company had been disappointed with the Oracle applications it currently uses because it was difficult to organise services and repairs. He was therefore attracted to the automated repair function built into Windows 2000.

Fennelly said he was not concerned about the possibility of software bugs in the first version of Win2K. "New software will always have glitches."

Dr Chris Tang, of the South Queensland Rural Division of General Practitioners, said his organisation planned to replace its existing NT Terminal Servers with Windows 2000 Professional in six months. Tang said his organisation could not risk the inevitable "litterbugs" in the first version of Win2K because confidential and vital patient information was stored on the company's existing NT servers. "We'll just wait until they've ironed out all the litterbugs."

Tang also said his organisation had not yet been able to justify the cost of installing Windows 2000. "Our current [NT] system is fine." However, the organisation will consider deploying Windows 2000 on the 200 PCs its doctors use almost immediately, he said.