Users fear Windows 2000 reliability issues

Few enterprises in Australia plan to upgrade from NT or migrate to Windows 2000 when it is released later this year.

A survey of 100 organisations showed just three planned to migrate to Microsoft's flagship operating system from a non-Microsoft environment such as NetWare or Unix.

Of the rest, two thirds said they had no plans to move to Windows 2000 Server while one third said they would upgrade from Windows NT.

Twenty-six per cent said they would upgrade or migrate to Windows 2000 within two years of its release. Like NT, Windows 2000 will be available in several server flavours -- Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server, DataCenter Server and Professional.

Release candidate two of Windows 2000 Server is due out shortly.

Computerworld publisher IDG Communications conducted the survey as part of a worldwide poll into organisations' attitudes to Windows 2000 Server. An independent telemarketing company questioned the enterprises in July.

Of the individual respondents surveyed for the Australian leg of the poll, 85 per cent said they determined their organisation's needs for server operating systems; 80 per cent were responsible for specifying or selecting server operating systems for their organisation, while 81 per cent were responsible for purchasing server operating systems.

Sixty five per cent said they had the final authorisation for buying server operating systems. Just one of the 100 organisations surveyed said it would migrate to Windows 2000 Server immediately on the release of the software.

Of those not planning to upgrade to Windows 2000, 30 per cent said they were comfortable with their existing operating systems while 27 per cent anticipated there would be too many bugs in the release version of Windows 2000 Server. Seventeen per cent said they wanted to resolve year 2000 issues before committing to a new platform. A further 16 per cent said they would delay migration or upgrade because they were waiting for the Enterprise or Data Centre release of Windows 2000.

When all organisations were asked to rate their confidence in Windows 2000 -- based on what they had read or been advised by Microsoft -- 73 per cent rated reliability as an issue. Hardware support was an issue for 59 per cent of the respondents. On the positive side, 44 per cent were confident or extremely confident in manageability issues with Windows 2000 Server.

While there is a definite lack of enthusiasm for Windows 2000 Server, there was no lack of progress on the hardware front. Only 29 per cent had no plans for new server hardware over the next 12 months.

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