A couple months ago, we were mystified by strong Microsoft hints that Windows
2000 would ship in first quarter 1999 - a schedule most beta testers considered
suicidal. Now, rumors from within Microsoft are that the Operating System
Formerly Known as Windows NT 5.0 will not make it at all in this century. The
date now being discussed is February 24th, 2000.
This will make essential a point release of Windows NT 4.0 (perhaps 4.5) because NT 4.0 is not Y2K compliant, and because the hardware NT runs on continues to evolve. Hardware is also a problem for Windows 2000, as hardware evolution is out-pacing the development of Windows 2000, making necessary continuous changes in specification, causing further delay.
The name change from NT 5.0 to Windows 2000 also caused delay because all the internal messaging and documentation had to be revised.
Should there be an NT 4.x point release instead of delivery of Windows 2000, it will be greatly disappointing to those who are staking the future of their enterprise on Microsoft products. Active Directory, the directory service that will make it possible to manage NT in large organizations, is certain to be missing.
By time Active Directory hits the street, Novell's NDS directory service may be so entrenched AD will be irrelevant. Even Cisco, formerly 100% committed to Microsoft, is starting to hedge their bets with NDS.
©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access
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