Windows 2000 sales picking up: analyst

Despite their ongoing legal disputes with the government, Microsoft executives have at least one reason to sleep well. IDC has released a new study showing that Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system sales are steadily picking up.

IDC said Microsoft's latest OS has been gaining ground on its Windows NT predecessor and should eclipse NT in sales by year end. Additionally, IDC concluded that adoption rates on the new OS surpass those previously set by NT.

During the fourth quarter of this year, IDC looks for shipments of Windows 2000 to outnumber those of NT by 1.7 million, the research company said. IDC also predicts that Windows 2000 will make up almost 71 per cent of shipments of Windows 2000 and Windows NT by the end of 2001.

"Most of the transition to Windows 2000 is taking place now and will continue for the next 12 to 18 months," said Al Gillen, manager of IDC's system software research.

Windows 2000 Professional - the software designed to replace Windows NT Workstation - has shown solid acceptance rates and looks to pick up steam over the next year, IDC said. While the professional version will only make up 40 per cent of combined Windows 2000 Professional and Windows NT sales by year end, IDC forecasts that it could pull in more than 72 per cent of combined sales by the end of 2001.

"There are numerous reasons for this fast acceptance, including support for new hardware technologies that Windows NT Workstation 4.0 didn't offer such as universal serial bus, advanced power management and plug-and-play support that really works," Gillen said.

While adoption of Windows 2000 server hasn't been as rapid, the OS could account for about 35 per cent of all Windows server shipments during December 2000, compared with only 16 per cent for all of 2000, IDC said. By the end of 2001, Windows 2000 Server Edition will account for 56 per cent of total Windows server shipments, IDC said.

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