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Half Of Businesses Still Use Windows 2000

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the shouldn't-surprise-anyone dept.

Windows 640

bonch writes "An AssetMetrix study shows that half of business are still running Windows 2000 four years after the release of Windows XP, and that usage of Windows 2000 has only decreased by 4% since 2003. Microsoft will officially stop supporting Windows 2000 by the end of this month, offering one last update rollup later this year. Windows XP's slower adoption illustrates Microsoft's difficulty in competing with the popularity of its own software platform, and makes it more difficult for Microsoft to convince people to upgrade when Longhorn is released late next year."

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umm (5, Funny)

beatdown (788583) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822090)

when Longhorn is released late next year

Yeak, okay...

Re:umm (5, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822164)

Longhorn has always been to be released late next year, you knew it, right ?

Re:umm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822249)

Just like Linux on the Desktop.

MS lifecycle says it has to be (5, Interesting)

Bad to the Ben (871357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822205)

It has to be released then according to MS: .mspx []

Check out the table. Notice how the licencing end dates run out at the end of this year for OEMs and next year for system builders? Longhorn has to fill that spot or the contracts need to be renegotiated.

Re:umm (2, Insightful)

jgionet (828557) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822212)

hahaha.. I'll believe it when I see it.. I think Longhorn will become a LinuxOS when it's finally released..

Even though XP is "nice" I still think (along with many others) that Win2k was probably the "BEST" release M$ has even had. Everything else is simply more eye candy.

And the other half? (4, Insightful)

nietsch (112711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822221)

How much of the other half still runs win95/98/me ? It just depends when they bought their comuters and how long they last, not how long MS thinks its software should last.

Re:And the other half? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822254)

I know of 10 machines running win95b/win98.

All of them at my work. Of course that is because we need dos and netware networking support.

I am tryig to figure out an upgrade path. it's just that the software we use is very propertiry. and moving off is possible though hard. That and I refuse to install XP at work. I need an idiot proof server setup, and I haven't found it yet.

Re:And the other half? (1)

Sevidrac (634513) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822284)

Use VMWare..

Officially? (2, Informative)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822092)

Yeah, right. []

Re:Officially? (5, Informative)

JaseOne (579683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822167)

Well the blurb might have been a little harsh but...

* Paid-per-incident support
* Free hotfix support

Is what expires next month.

Why upgrade? (5, Interesting)

alanjstr (131045) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822096)

I have not run into a compelling reason to upgrade from Win2k to XP. Win2k has been very stable for me. It seems that my XP boxes get more security patches than my Win2k boxes. I don't need all the eye candy of XP.

Re:Why upgrade? (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822127)

Agreed. Win2K is in a mature stage, where XP is still approaching it. I develop software on a Win 2K server box, and it is very robust, and does what I need it to do. Why upgrade? I won't until I am forced to. For all the jokes about Microsoft, they got their servr technology right with Win2K.

And here is Microsoft's biggest problem. There comes a point when the extra bells and whistles just aren't worth it. Then they have to find a way to get you to buy anyway. Microsoft is painfully aware of this... witness their licensing schemes, and premature end of support for products.

Re:Why upgrade? (1)

nightski (860922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822134)

LOL. Of course XP is going to get security patches. It is being actively supported! When Win2K support ends that will be it. You will be stuck with your security holes.

XP is much more secure than 2K out of the box, let alone with SP2 installed.

Re:Why upgrade? (2, Insightful)

B4RSK (626870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822160)

And why is this a problem on a small corporate network?

The network is sitting behind a NAT router. Email is Thunderbird (or maybe Notes), browser is Firefox or other non-IE browser.

In such a situation Win2K is good for many years to come.

Re:Why upgrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822222)

Email is Thunderbird (or maybe Notes), browser is Firefox or other non-IE browser.

I think you overestimate corporate networks. Everywhere I've worked, IE and Outlook have been the standard. You do sometimes here of places switching over to Firefox, but never to Thunderbird - it doesn't do half of what Outlook does.

It's stil no problem, because nobody deploys unpatched machines in that environment, and everything is locked down anyway.

Re:Why upgrade? (1)

vaceituno (665272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822157)

I can think of a reason to upgrade: WAP support for WiFi, and a reason not to upgrade: my sister in law can't watch AVI movies in her television trough her TV output with XP.

Re:Why upgrade? (1)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822184)

The feature set of XP / 2003 does not offer more (for me) than 2000. W2K has all the functionality I need.

On the flip side, there are times when finding a driver for XP or 2003 is as difficult as finding one for my Linux box. (not flamebait; I like Linux)

Re:Why upgrade? (1)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822215)

The only feature in Windows XP that I like is the way it groups apps on the taskbar. That, and the picture viewer is nice. (I'm not being sarcastic, I think that picture/fax viewer is one of their best applications. Loads quickly, does its job well, very simple)

Re:Why upgrade? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822260)

And that grouping is something that a lot of people hate. I turn that off first thing, right after hiding extensions on file names. I like to be able to see all the windows I have open. But this is also the reason my taskbar is 2 units high. You can fit double the stuff on the taskbar. I really don't know how people work with their taskbar grouped. But I guess it's just personal preference.

Re:Why upgrade? (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822216)

For a well run business with good perimeter and internal security, Win2K is just too good to move away from. It's stability is great and it doesnt' suffer the performance issues of WinXP with SP2. It's also the last OS from Microsoft that actually treated users like they were using a computer instead of dumbing things down. (In WInXP: control panel "lite", stupid road blocks if you want to browse the file system and, of course, that annoying dog as the default search, to name a few).

One of my fondest memories of Win2K was semi-regularly seeing Linux/Unix users on Slashdot give it grudging props. It was unpretentious, did what it was supposed to do and did it with reasonable stability. In my opinion, that's pretty much the basics of what an OS is supposed to be, and quite a few other computer users agreed.

Re:Why upgrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822248)

I completely agree. I have both a Win2K and a WinXP machine at work. I use my Win2K machine more, install more stuff on it, and yet it still works perfectly fine. My XP machine, despite having newer hardware, has now gotten to the point where the OS crashes daily, and often it inexplicably resets itself. Ever since I installed the latest security "update", I barely have to breathe at the thing and it dies. The next time I get some downtime I'm putting Win2K on it. XP is a pile of crap, the old Win98 box I'm typing this on at home is WAY more stable.

Not only that (4, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822285)

WinXP is laid out all screwy too, makes it really hard to configure or use. I don't think it's any more stable either. Also, the "eye candy" you refer to is absolutely garish - it's like they got a retarded monkey to try to imitate Mac OSX. First thing I did on my work computer (which is XP unfortunately) was switch the style to classic to save my eyes and some of my sanity.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822097)

Wow, I actually got a 404 when loading this article. Hope I get a FP :)

Delayed release? (1)

muadist (622577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822099)

"and makes it more difficult for Microsoft to convince people to upgrade when Longhorn is released late next year" ...if it is released next year. It seems to keep getting pushed back.

But maybe not (5, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822104)

Windows XP's slower adoption illustrates Microsoft's difficulty in competing with the popularity of its own software platform

I don't think the "popularity" of Windows 2000 is a factor. I think its more of businesses have a hard time justifying that hit for another $199 to Microsoft for an updated version when the version they've already paid for meets their needs.

Re:But maybe not (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822129)

There are a lot of other reasons as well. We own licensing for XP for every workstation but still have not upgraded and I don't see it happening in the foreseeable future either. 2000 does its job and is pretty stable, why change?

Re:But maybe not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822252)

And there is the reason why Linux adoption is so damn slow.

Unless you offer a genuine alternative, with a product that offers more than the current defacto, companies are going to consider it a waste of time.

Why change?

That's a pretty global mantra. And one that needs a pretty convincing counter arguement.

Re:But maybe not (2, Insightful)

rmjohnso (891555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822149)

I think it's less about the $199 for the software and more about the cost to actually roll an updated OS to every laptop and workstation. If you are a rather large company, like the one I work for, that has a lot of people who travel, getting everyone's data backedup, OS updated, and programs re-installed can be a nightmare.

Other issues to consider are things like Microsoft Java VM support. We have a few applications that require MS JVM (yes, I know it sucks and it probably very insecure), and getting it run under XP is difficult unless you find old copies of the JVM from Microsoft.

Re:But maybe not (5, Insightful)

TheLinuxWarrior (240496) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822150)

Right on track, however, I don't think it's the licensing cost that kills it, at least not for big business.

What kills it is the litterally millions of dollars in man hours that it takes to certify all of your applications prior to rollout, new scripting for things that didn't work, deployment teams to actually do the work, lost productivity when the upgrade doesn't go as expected for every single user. The list goes on and on. For a company like the one I worked at recently (100K employees), that $199 is just a drop in the bucket of the total upgrade cost.

And for what? For 50-75% of average business users, they're doing email, documents and presentations. Linux/OO could easily do that for them. So where is the compelling reason to upgrade to XP or Longhorn other than the monopolist dropping support for your current OS?

Re:But maybe not (2, Interesting)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822178)

A lot of the businesses they are talking about have site licenses. The major reason for keeping 2000 in most places is that converting hundreds of machines isn't an easy task. We finally just converted to XP at my job about 6 months ago, and the network is running much smoother. As long as we keep up on the patches we are pretty good. Since we are all behind massive firewalls, there isn't much to worry about anyway.
The same is true of most shops that run Unix. Or any major software such as Oracle for that matter. You need to wait until the release is stable, and you need to pick a time to convert when you'll get the most bang for your buck. Jumping in early rarely benefits your company. I'm a little surprised that 2000 is still that prevalent.

Re:But maybe not (1)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822193)


The article seemed a bit too patronizing for my tastes, trying to explain customer reluctance by saying that Win2k "worked too well."

But in a way, they are right. It certainly worked well enough not to merit a replacement worth several thousand dollars (company-wide).

The open source community obviously has a leg up on proprietary software on this front - pretty much everyone is willing to upgrade to the next stable release. There really is little reason not to (short of a disastrous new course taken by the distro). With stuff that's really expensive like Windows, however, Microsoft is forced to endure its mistakes and to relive them again and again - even if WinXP deals with the problem better and is more secure, it's not guaranteed that the Win2k users will switch over (depends on how much they value the new additions).

Re:But maybe not (1)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822208)

And the hardware cost, and the cost to upgrade, down time for the end-user, transaction costs all.

The computer runs, the OS works, why endure the pain of an upgrade for dubious benefits?

Re:But maybe not (1)

hotbutteredhtml (613549) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822279)

"businesses have a hard time justifying that hit for another $199"

That's just for the desktop licenses. We use Windows 2000 Terminal servers here. We'd have to pay the license for 2003 Server, 2003 Terminal Server Client Licenses (for thin clients), and 2003 Client Access Licenses (for each file server). It's the licensing fee's that get you.

Good enough already ? (1)

netdudeuk (460790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822106)

Maybe this is because Windows 2000 already does the job and they don't want to spend time and money on change for change's sake ?

...Or It Could Be... (1)

what_the_frell (690581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822109)

They're WAITING for Longhorn to arrive. With all the fanfare Microsoft's been drumming up about it, not to mention their huge marketing budget for the product, Longhorn is going to be hard to ignore.

...But then again, I know of some businesses who still use Windows NT 4...

Re:...Or It Could Be... (1, Insightful)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822122)

Or they are waiting for OSX86?? Perhaps studying transition to Linux?

Re:...Or It Could Be... (1)

nospmiS remoH (714998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822165)

You know, now that you mention it, I wonder if this is why Microsoft is stalling Longhorn. Think about it, if they drop 2000 support but Longhorn is not ready yet, businesses will have to upgrade to XP, and then AGAIN to Longhorn. [/conspiracy theory]

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (1)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822266)

I do software builds for one of our legacy products on an NT4 box. It's a painful experience.

There is definitely a need to move from NT4 to 2000 - the differences are sizeable - similar to those seen between NT3.5 and 4 - from 2000 to XP, however - there is little reason to move, from a business perspective. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. We've moved most of our servers to 2003, due to better NLB support, but those that don't need to move, don't.

Good enough wins. (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822111)

Certainly in the mass market. Why upgrade if you're not getting any significant benefit and possibly causing yourself huge amounts of grief?

Seems logical (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822114)

Althrough it's safe to assume a lot of these companies WILL upgrade within a few months, i don't think you can blaim them.

Windows XP doesn't offer much (if any) valuable new stuff for use on the corporate desktop.

win2k (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822118)

win2k is plenty good enough for people who need that kind of thing. there is certainly no reason to move to 2003, unless forced by ms using pricing. which just illustrates the trap of closed source systems. i run win2k systems and freebsd systems, i certainly will not be planning to move to anything past win2k, i am just biding my time till i can move those systems to freebsd.

2000??? (1)

orion41us (707362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822119)

We still have 98 running on several systems..

Re:2000??? (1)

stevie-boy (145403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822234)

We still have 98 running on several systems..

same here, we're mainly XP with a handful of 2000 and 9x boxes, which haven't been upgraded because they run specialist software which we don't want to risk it not playing nicely with XP. Are we categorised in this half of businesses still running 2000?

Re:2000??? (0)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822269)

We've still got a few boxes running 95, and some running NT. It's not a license thing, due to site licensing, it's a time thing. I'm the IT guy by default at my site, though it's not my primary job at all. I swap out boxes when I need to, upgrade memory, re-image, and re-deploy to the next person that has problems. It's very much a JIT system, but without dedicated IT personnelle and a very busy primary job function, it's the best I can do.

I've actually run XP longer than W2k, having gotten it on a new laptop in early 2003 before started using W2k at work. W2k is better, imho, as it doesn't throw a lot of extra eye-candy crap at you, nor does it force you to use wizards for everything. In a business environment, xp extra features such as video and audio applications are actually counter-productive.

Re:2000??? (1)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822272)

ditto. I work for a very small university.. we've still got a lot of PII 233 machines with win98, and even a bunch of slower windows 95 computers floating around.

Why Change? (2, Insightful)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822120)

As long as it runs their copy of Office and all programs they're running are also compatible with 2000 still, I don't see the incentive to spend thousands on a upgrade that is probably seen as highly unnecessary at this time, not to mention they're probably running them on boxes that would be slowed down by XP. The lack of support coming at the end of the month may have some incentive to move to a new version, but I still doubt many will see it as a great need to move on.

Why? (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822126)

For those that don't use it for games (yeah, I know, but my dad actually does use his PC for work only), XP really doesn't have a lot of reasons to inspire an upgrade from 2K. It still runs a reasonably modern version of Office, seems fairly secure, and is actually more reliable than any of the XP boxes on their or my networks. Myself, I'm an avid Flight Simmer, so XP Pro it is for me -- but for business machines, I'd still say 2K is the way to go. I used to work in a call center, and we almost never had any problems with our 20 or so 2K boxes. Updates rolled on their own -- no real admin duties worse than keeping the fileservers backed up.

Re:Why? (1)

Diabolus777 (663144) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822189)

I'm a gamer and a game dev and I still use 2k.
Less memory hogging means better performances. I never had any problems gaming or coding games under 2k.

What's so special about flight sim? I would assume it would require lots of memory you could save up by using 2k.

Why would they? (5, Insightful)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822128)

The simple fact of the matter is that upgrading from Windows 2k to Windows XP, doesn't offer much, a server running Windows 2003 Server, can still operate the same without switching the clients to Windows XP. Windows 2000 also takes uses less hardware requirements, and if it runs all their programs with ease, why would they risk switching to a new OS with problems? Then there is the fact of security Windows 2k has been around about 5 years, its going to have less exploits then a system like XP which can have more potential security flaws, then ones that been around longer.

we still use windows 95 (1)

jzuska (65827) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822131)

yes, it's true, my mom also.

Re:we still use windows 95 (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822162)

I'd strongly recommend 98 over 95. It's essentially a bug fix.

In Korea... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822132)

In Korea, only old people use Windows 2000.

Re: In Texas (0)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822228)

In Texas only old people use Windows.

Cost dictates buisnesses (2, Interesting)

rajeshgoli (881014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822133)

Most buisnesses have already bought Windows 2000, the cost of maintiaing it is equivalent to the cost of maintaining windows xp, so why would buisnesses upgrade to windows XP at an extra cost? We use Windows 2000 at our office and we dont think that upgrading to windows XP will increase our productivity.
The initial model of growth probably was that as buisnesses purchase and add NEW hardware, they will obivously prefer latest software. Now that PC penertration has into businesses has almost saturated, this model will no longer mean profitable buisness for microsoft.

Well... (1)

Bad to the Ben (871357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822140)

at least MS can be glad they're not running Linux instead.

Why doesn't MS try a subscription based scheme? A small amount for installation of the OS, and then a renewal fee each year? For some business it would be profitable, and MS would have less of a need to keep rolling out software to replace what works.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

RupW (515653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822195)

Why doesn't MS try a subscription based scheme? A small amount for installation of the OS, and then a renewal fee each year?

They already do [] .

Re:Well... (1)

holy_smoke (694875) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822230)

thats an excellent suggestion, however it would devastate Microsoft's revenue stream. I say that because a subscription would have to have 2 atributes: (1) lower price and (2) it would generate the need for microsoft to continuously upgrade and add value to the software to justify the subscription. If the subscription price is more than the cost of "upgrading" every 4 years then business will likely opt out because the savings isn't there, and similarly if the software enhancements/changes/support isn't significant on an ongoing basis they will not see value to the subscription either.

Ultimately businesses consider an OS an investment that requires a return on that sunk cost. The theory being that you want to purchase infrastructure (hardware, os, software apps) and then use them until you reap 5,10,15x the cost in productivity or business efficiency. No business wants to continually invest in infrastructure without seeing this return on investment. It impacts the profitability of the business.

Microsoft has a tough delimna here. They have added so many features and functionality that they have pretty much satisfied what their customers want (outside of security obviously, but even there they are making strides in the right direction). It is at this point that their product will feel the commoditization squeeze, which means razor thin profit margins or customers who just don't upgrade. It is also at this point of market maturity that the door is opened to fierce competition (from Linux or even Apple maybe for example).

The bottom line is that Microsoft's business model has to change now, but they are struggling to redefine profit streams and stave off impending competition also.

I think that Microsoft will have to undergo some significant changes in the next decade to adapt to what I believe is a commodity space now. Even office apps are entering this space.

so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822145)

and the world still turns...

Speaking of XP... (2, Interesting)

kennyj449 (151268) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822146)

What happens when Longhorn comes out? It'll be five years old in a year, even though it's still the most up-to-date desktop OS that Microsoft offers (discounting Media Center Edition, 64-bit, etc.) I'm contemplating trying to convince my company to move to XP (from Windows 98) and support is one of the key selling points... so what happens when Longhorn comes out? You have a few months, and then you lose support if you're running anything less on a desktop?

More Upgrading = More Hassle.... (1)

fudg3tunn3l (883722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822155)

Win2K does it very nicely for me, and it whizzes along happily doing what I tell it when I tell it and the only time it has crashed is when I tried a little overclocking. All the latest games happily run on it, all the newest apps would be stupid not to support it so I'll be happily telling Win2K what I tell it when I tell it for at least another 5 years maybe longer... one happy user here

Asides from being a duplicate... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822156)

Why bother switching from 2K to XP? A fresh install of 2K only eats up about 5-600 megs of HDD space, where XP uses up to 1.6 gigs. XP is just 2K with too many bells and whistles that hardly anybody uses, not to mention many more holes and lots of graphical nonsense/bloat. XP has the system restore feature, which in itself rarely works properly. 2K doesn't need it. Why fix something that's not even broken?

My company. (1)

Mach5 (3371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822163)

I'm the only IT guy, and my company uses a windows2000 server with active directory and such on a Dell. Runs fine.

I don't really have anything to add.


Re:My company. (4, Informative)

RupW (515653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822242)

I'm the only IT guy, and my company uses a windows2000 server with active directory and such on a Dell. Runs fine.

Assuming you're under fifty employees, have you looked at MS's Small Business Server? For about the price of the server OS on its own you get all the big server products provided you run them all on the same box.

Granted, there's not a lot to make SBS 2003 a must-have over SBS 2000 apart from:

1. Exchange 2003's Outlook Web Access is much nicer than 2000's
2. ISA Server 2004 instead of ISA 2000 (if you get the SBS 2003 Premium edition and apply SP1)

and they're just nice-to-haves really, along with all the other Server 2003 nice-to-haves.

Two things (4, Informative)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822169)

There are two main reason I have seen for not upgrading:

1. There isn't very much difference between XP and 2000. 2000 is a fairly stable platform that runs pretty much all the same software as XP. "If it ain't broke"

2. The activation stuff sucks. Even as a legal owner I find it is a huge pain in the ass. This is especially true when you upgrade a server. It's not uncommon to upgrade servers either by changing/adding hardware or just replacing the whole machine which can cause you to have to reactivate Windows. Now, it's not that hard to reactivate but it's just a stupid little thing you have to do and the machine won't work until it's done. It feels risky to upgrade machines running XP because you're not sure if everything will go smoothly because of the activation crap.

I use 2000 on my main development machine because sometimes I do have to change the hardware for testing purposes and I got tired of having to continuously reactivate Windows.

I don't know what I'm going to do if they stop supporting 2000. More reason to spend more time in Linux or OS X I guess (although technically I simply must spend some time in Windows for development purposes).

Re:Two things (1)

RupW (515653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822280)

It's not uncommon to upgrade servers either by changing/adding hardware or just replacing the whole machine which can cause you to have to reactivate Windows.

In my experience, XP doesn't survive a complete-machine-swap very well anyway - it's safest to do a clean re-install. Even changing the motherboard can kill it - I guess it's got chipset-specific drivers configured with no fallback to generic drivers. In that case, if you have to reinstall anyway, reactivation isn't that big of a deal.

How ironic... (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822170)

If Microsoft didn't release upgrades ("innovate"), people would complain that Microsoft stagnates. (Hey, they already do that!) It's funny that many of those same complainers also have yet to upgrade to the latest version.

So, basically, Microsoft can't win here. No matter what they do, people will complain. Forced upgrade or forced stagnation.

Good thing I use Linux and my upgrades are free. :)

Re:How ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822218)

There should be plenty middle ground between forced stagnation and forced upgrades. Nobody is forcing Microsoft to stop supporting XP.

Re:How ironic... (1)

vettemph (540399) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822268)

>Good thing I use Linux and my upgrades are free. :)
Along with your ass. :)

Re:How ironic... (1)

PhiltheeG (688063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822274)

It's not a no win situation for Microsoft.

One segment of their market is perfectly happy with Windows 2000 releases and simply want continued support for a mature and paid for product. Another segment of the market demands newer technology to deal with rapidly evolving hardware and platform requirements.

It's not that it's a no-win, they won two separate battles and now have to support both segments. Microsoft's problem is that they create far too many situations like this with their massive product lines.

Windows 2000? Lucky! (1)

timster121 (820967) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822172)

My computer at work still has NT4. I guess we're too cheap to upgrade. All the new computers deployed have Windows 2000.

On a related note, I have Windows 2000 at home cause I'm too cheap to upgrade to WinXP. I also see no real reason to upgrade to XP. I guess I can understand why businesses don't, either.

Nevertheless... (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822174)

M$ have decided that it is in the 'best interests' of their clients to upgrade and will shortly discontinue support for Win2K. Luckily, those of us using open source operating systems need never fear such chicanery.

Re:Nevertheless... (1)

webphenom (868874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822211)

Another uninformed moronic response, typical of a /.er.

Thanks for the insight.

MY Score: 3 (Truthful)

Not enough bugs (1)

crescentmage (892323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822180)

Aparently there aren't enough existing bugs in Win 2k to justify an upgrade to XP. Compared to the NT/Win 95 days, when the next edition was as much a giant patch as an upgrade. Perhaps Microsoft will insert a few more errors in Longhorn to keep the process moving along.

Soft Sell Upgrade (2, Interesting)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822182)

If Microsoft is really interested in getting businesses to upgrade from Windows 2000 to Longhorn, then all they need to do is a couple of things. One make the upgrade procedure from 2K to Longhorn as smooth and painless as possible and two provide the upgrade at a very good price, like the cost of media or shipping or some other nominal fee. Seriously! If progress is being held up (or support is costing too much) then Microsoft needs to offer a deal that cannot be refused. It cost more to get new customers than to keep old ones. Besides, Office is where the real money is anyway, so keep em hooked by keeping them on Windows by making it a no brainer.

This is a lot of work for Microsoft programmers and designers to pull off and a lot of expense. But most of this work needs to be done anyway and in the long term it can only pay off for the company and for its customers. Longhorn is going to take a while to get here, so they might as well make it worth the effort.

coincidence? (1)

Darvin (878219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822188)

Last Tuesday i was in town and i passed two engineers from the FirstGroup of FirstBus in Aberdeeen which is a huge bus and travel company in the UK. The two of them had a Dell laptop with a USB cable running out the back and uo to a roof of a bus stop which had an electric radio that communicated with buses that displayed the ETA of the next few buses, and what type of bus it is. Well, me being me went to check what operating system they were using. I thought they might use linux for this soft of thing, but they were running a version of windows 2000 professional, and the thing kept crashing, and the guys were obviously pissed. Anyway, my bus came on time.

It's a catch 22 (1)

ChrisF79 (829953) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822194)

I think the big problem is with the old adage, "If its not broke, don't fix it." In Microsoft's case, I guess its really, "If it's less broke, don't fix it." The problem is that people understand Microsoft's constant problems so they stick with something that works for them until they have a compelling reason to switch, such as better security, a loss of support, or huge new features. I think this presents a problem though because it encourages Microsoft to add a bunch of "features" even if they aren't needed. This could really lead to them losing a core focus on what they're trying to produce. Just my $0.02.

mo3 3own (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822197)

already aw4re, *BSD

What new features? (4, Interesting)

asciiRider (154712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822199)

Here is a list of the new features in XP. Notice the use of words like "Enhanced, Improved, Greater, Easier" -

For the life of me, I can't figure out why anybody would consider moving thousands of workstations to XP. The only thing I can come up with is the built in firewall which can be controlled via group policy.

User interface improvements? Big deal, so now it looks like nintendo. Better help? Users call the help desk. 64 bit? Big deal...

-Intelligent User Interface
-Comprehensive Digital Media Support
-Greater Application and Device Compatibility
-Enhanced File and Print Services
-Improved Networking and Communications
-Integrated Help and Support Services
-Improved Mobile Computing
-Reliability Improvements
-Stronger Security Protections
-Easier Manageability
-64-Bit Support
-Looking Forward: The Microsoft .NET Platform

Maybe MS should... (1)

dannyitc (892023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822200)

Use their EU bargaining tactics [] and release a SP for Windows 2000 that officially renames it to "Windows Antiquated Edition."

We keep Win98-SE (2, Interesting)

daveewart (66895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822203)

On our network of fifty users, we are staying with Windows 98 Second Edition for the near future; Win98 doesn't suffer from most of the worm and trojan activity that affects Win2000 and WinXP. Also, for our purposes, Win98SE Just Works.

That's true (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822207)

And the other 50 % use NT 4.0

The Reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822217)

Win2K "just works". It's rock-solid & runs well on the machines large businesses typically run. (Pentium 3 level)

windows 2000 errors vs. windows Xtra Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822220)

At idle my win2k box is running 11 processes and uses about 80MB of Ram. By simply removing all the services you dont require (running a clean box) you can get better performance than XP can hope too achieve. Most vendors installations of XP have so many gadgets and whizzbangs running in the background that they will suck up 200-300MB of ram and a large percentage of processor time before they are even running an application. I dont know whats worse, Windows ME or windows XP. 2K also doesn't try to download/install crap without me knowing about it (at least I hope so).

Duh! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822223)

Really? is there really any other option. As far as servers go, Win2k is pretty much where it's at right now. For desktops, Win2k is what people had been waiting for since windows 95 came out, I think a lot of people switched because of this. There is no compelling reason to upgrade to XP. It offered a few eye-candy features, and changes to the UI (think control panel and search) that confuse even the most competent windows users. Not to mention the whole problem associated with activation. I don't see why anybody with 2K would want XP.

For many the upgrade path looks like this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822224)

W2K -> linux

Planned Obsolescence (1)

gvc (167165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822232)

This is remarkable only because of the tacit assumption that businesses should be in the continuous process of updating.

Computers are appliances. Like cars, refrigerators, and furnaces, computers don't change their function (at least in a typical business application) throughout their lifetime so why should they be replaced or updated if they ain't broke?

XP offers the same essential platform as Win2K. Would I replace my car to get new chrome? As a consumer I might, but as a business owner, I don't think so.

No reason to switch (1)

dkone (457398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822233)

WinXP is nothing but a big pain in the ass. I just got a new workstation with XP on it, and it is terrible. It does not play nice with our existing windows network, it offers nothing spectacular over 2K. I truly believe that they know all this at MS, but they must generate revenue. Shut up and consume should be their mantra, not where do you want to go today.

In a bit of a pickle. (1)

yoder (178161) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822239)

Half of businesses are using 2000 and 2000 will not be supported. I'm guessing that most of these businesses are small/medium size and have very limited IT budgets.

I'm guessing that piracy will spike with small businesses in the next year.

Not a shock (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822240)

Upgrades are based on need vs. cost, generally speaking.

If the need for new features from 2000 to XP (or productivity increases it would bring, even if there are no needs specifically)... exceeds the cost, it is a beneficial upgrade, and it will probably get done. ... but there is no reason to make changes every time a new version (even major version) of a software package upgrades, it's just common sense.

There are probably still some companies out there running NT, just because it works, and there is no benefit to shelling out thousands to hundreds of thousands (depending on the number of seats)... just to have a "newer name" software with some extra features that don't matter (for the company, not don't matter in general) ...

Seems like common sense to me, anyway...

Care for the careful.... (4, Insightful)

Crimson Dragon (809806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822243)

I can recall similar tales of various versions of NT back in the day suffering from slow adoption. Aside from what has been previously stated in this thread about just what XP offers to business users as opposed to 2000 (almost nothing), let's keep mitigating factors in mind.

The enterprise costs of XP in support are greater than 2000 in a number of cases. Many companies bought into 2000 in the very beginning, and got hardware that worked at that time. Resources are a problem for many of the machines built OEM for Win2k. Additionally, compatibility issues with other software and hardware solutions arise. Speaking from personal experience, our company committed to a software phone system which, as it turned out when we tried to upgrade to XP, just STOPPED WORKING. This is really bad for a CALL CENTER. Compatibility issues such as these mar XP's widespread corporate adoption.

I will go so far as to predict Longhorn will have the same adoption problem if Redmond continues current patterns. With WinFS and .NET being scrapped as native to the OS, there are less headaches than one could initially surmise. I will stress, however, that the pattern of not being able to get something to work right and trashing it demonstrates a development problem which, if not rectified by now or soon, could result in an extremely poor product coming out of Redmond. They need to be at the top of their game, as their enemies come from all fronts with attractive offerings of their own these days...

It can happen (1)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822246)

Longhorn can come out next year, Debian was released ;)

Not just in the Windows world (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822256)

IIRC, in 2004 Steve Jobs considered OS X a success because 50% of the install base uses OS X. Even now something like 13% of people are still using OS X 10.0-10.1...

Whats the fuss about ? (1)

Futurix (892321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822259)

Nothing has really happend this Win2k, except from people
complaining about their color vision when logging off xp ...

Microsoft need to layoff people and start to get off the idea
of introducing a new os every year,and start extending their OS support.

Windows 2003 is the upgrade to Windows 2000 (1)

Remobot (888237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822261)

Windows 2003 is the logical upgrade to Windows 2000, not Windows XP.

Old Macs hang around, too (2, Informative)

ewg (158266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822263)

Old Macs hang around, too. If staff are getting their work done on the old junk they're using, management is loathe is spend money on a replacement.

No Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12822271)

I realize this is merely echoing what's already been stated but... there *is* no truly compelling reason for most to switch from Windows 2000 to XP or 2003.

Here where I work, we're about half and half Win2000 and WinXP. Windows 2000 works great for the workstations and servers it's deployed on, and there's simply no reason whatsoever to upgrade to XP "just because". I love XP Pro, don't get me wrong. Wouldn't trade it on my personal home system for anything. But I also have no gripe with using 2000.

However... when Longhorn comes out the likelihood is that we'll faze out the 2000 boxes and replace with Longhorn. That way after a short transition period we'll only be dealing with XP and Longhorn. Which is fine.

The only thing in 2000 that really bugs me is drivers. Otherwise, I have no gripe with it and it still works great in the situations we've deployed it in. So there's no need to switch.

The real question is -- why are some people and places still actively using Window 98 (which is still deployed in more places than you'd like to know)?...

Are you kidding? (3, Informative)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822277)

Do you know how many businesses use 98 still? A LOT. Many businesses are still using 95 and 98 on their old computers because they can't afford new computers. Businesses are not going to change as quickly as Microsoft wants them to. NEWS FLASH!

No reason... (1)

N1ghtFalcon (884555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822278)

I currently work for a webhosting company in which we have about 2/3 of our servers running windows 2000, with the other 1/3 on Linux. In our office it's about 40% with 2000, 50% with XP, and 10% on Linux. I guess it all comes down to the fact that 2000 just works, so we didn't see all that much need to upgrade. A month ago we setup our first 2003 server in the office, to say the least, the tech department (including myself) are the only ones who appreciated the effects of the upgrade. Other users could care less.

Personally, I do like the improvements made both in XP and 2003. But in our case, it would be very difficult trying to explain to our clients why the server will be down if we decide to upgrade all of them, which I guess is something that will need to happen soon anyway.

We would all much rather see improvements made to the 2000 platform, such as storing the IIS metabase in XML format as is being done in 2003, then having to upgrade the whole OS. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be an option.

Government/Contractor users (1)

dmolavi (822749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12822286)

For me, I use Win2k at work since it's the most recent "official" version of a Microsoft OS that the gov't approves for use on their networks.
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