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Half Of Businesses Still Use Windows 2000 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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Half Of Businesses Still Use Windows 2000

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  • umm (Score:5, Funny)

    by beatdown ( 788583 ) * on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:14AM (#12822090)
    when Longhorn is released late next year

    Yeak, okay...
    • Re:umm (Score:5, Funny)

      by alexhs ( 877055 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:25AM (#12822164) Homepage Journal
      Longhorn has always been to be released late next year, you knew it, right ?
    • by Bad to the Ben ( 871357 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:31AM (#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 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jgionet ( 828557 )
      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.
      • by zoney_ie ( 740061 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:56AM (#12822379)
        With the eye-candy disabled, XP is just a more up-to-date Win2K - just as stable/unstable really.

        The interesting thing is - what % of businesses are XP? Even if MS get some of the Win2K people to go to XP - how are they going to get the XP people to go to Longhorn? It isn't going to happen extensively!!! MS are actually possibly more screwed (at least in terms of getting people to Longhorn) if they get Win2K people to go to XP at this stage.

        And it's still long time to wait for direct Win2K -> Longhorn upgrades (2 years? More? -including evaluation/install time for businesses).
        • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:46AM (#12822741) Journal
          With the eye-candy disabled, XP is just a more up-to-date Win2K

          I do not think so. Look, I am writing this from my pffice PC, which is an AMD Athlon XP processor and 512 MB RAM and a 7200 RPM HD .

          At home I have a Hp Notebook with Windows XP, and a Pentium 4M processor. Same RAM, and same speed HD.

          With those configs, I find the Win2K machine like 4 times faster than the WinXP machine.

          I think Windows 2000 is very good, as it has [almost] EVERYTHING an OS should have, and with Windows XP Microsoft added other things that I really do not use and surely there are process[services] that are just wasting my memory/CPU.

          I have even turned lots of services (with help of the black viper service config guide), but Win2000 continues running smoother.
          • XP indeed uses more resources, without adding much value (other than being a more recent OS and hence more supported/MS-approved).

            But in terms of functionality, it acts like 2K once the happyhappyshiny stuff is disabled - that's the point of my initial sentence. People act like they'll lose all that 2K is by moving to XP, just because of how XP's interface is arranged out of the box (note, in a corporate environment, you don't/shouldn't get "out of the box" anyways).
          • I have been running an internet cafe in northern Thailand for about a year and have tried out most options on the same machines. I found that XP slows a machine right down, especially when switching into and out of games, and that W2K is much faster on exactlty the same machine. I image my machines so comparing different options is easy. W2K has all that I need and XP does not offer me any more yet makes the machine crawl. It does not matter what the supporters say, I would take XP off a machine and ins
    • by nietsch ( 112711 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:33AM (#12822221) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • 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.
      • by BJZQ8 ( 644168 )
        In my school district, we have probably a half a dozen machines running 98, and even a couple running 95. We also have a majority OS 9 Macs, as well as a handful of OS 8 and a smattering of OS 7's. Microsoft, and the rest of the big companies, are in the "Technology Forcing" business. Our machines work, and, barring some miraculous thing people can't live without like teleportation or FTL quantum communication, will continue to do so for many, many years to come. I will only "upgrade" when absolutely fo
      • From AssetMetrix (Score:3, Interesting)

        by solomonrex ( 848655 )
        "Windows 95 and Windows 98 were reduced from a collective 28% to less than 5%;
        Windows NT popularity was reduced from 13.5% to about 10%; and
        Windows XP became the most popular operating system for companies with fewer than 250 PCs."

        I don't think ME was ever popularly deployed in businesses. I shudder to think about it. Win2k was available then.
      • half of business are still running Windows 2000

        Not half the computers. By the wording, one computer still running out of a company w/ 500 computers would still count as 'running Windows 2000'. So, it's entirely possible for that same half (and even some from the other half) to be running windows3.1, and still count as 'running Windows 2000'.

        Of course, if you look at the AssetMatrix site, they say

        Windows 2000 still has a greater than 50% market share in larger organizations

        Unfortunately, my quick gla

      • Where I work, some of the equipment still uses Windows 95 and 98. The equipment stands alone much like a point of sale cash register. If the vendor wants to provide an upgrade at a steep price that is viewed by a business as not needed, then the "it is not broken, don't fix it" reasoning is used. Why spend the money. It works.

        Most of the desk workstations where I work do run Win2K It's what came with them and the license is corporate wide. It isn't broken (If you don't count annoyances such as IE and
  • Officially? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:15AM (#12822092)
    Yeah, right. []
    • Re:Officially? (Score:5, Informative)

      by JaseOne ( 579683 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:26AM (#12822167) Homepage
      Well the blurb might have been a little harsh but...

      * Paid-per-incident support
      * Free hotfix support

      Is what expires next month.
      • Re:Officially? (Score:3, Informative)

        Security hotfixes - Free to all customers through March 31, 2010

        If you're running Windows 2000 Server you have till March 31, 2010 to move to whatever OS you choose. I'm personally waiting to evaluate OS X on Intel hardware. I was getting ready to port our web offerings to OS X on PPC/XServes but now I'll just wait until the new offerings hit the market. JSP here I come...
    • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:59AM (#12822400) Journal
      Like the link says, only "Mainstream" support will end. You can still get support on a per-incident basis (which isn't really that much different then before.)

      Additionally, Microsoft will continue to release security fixes for Windows 2000 for several more years - they still release patches for Windows 98 now.

      It won't change much for most people.

      At my company, we've got several hundred servers running Windows 2000 still. IIS6 in IIS5 compatibility mode isn't perfect, and IIS6 in native mode breaks a lot of apps. And there's a ton of other little gotchas with Windows Server 2003 - Can't run Exchange 2000 on it, can't run a lot of 3rd party software, etc etc. It's not an extremely hard upgrade but like any other major upgrade it's a lot of preparation.
  • Why upgrade? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alanjstr ( 131045 ) * on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:15AM (#12822096) Homepage
    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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:19AM (#12822127) Journal
      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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:33AM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:11AM (#12822497)
        It's also the last OS from Microsoft that actually treated users like they were using a computer instead of dumbing things down

        So what you're saying is that you'd prefer an OS which turns off protection on n00bs by default, rather than allowing those who know what they're doing to configure more access appropriately?

        How come that logic is incorrect when it comes to file-security and/or login-security, but when it comes to configuration-level security, all of a sudden we about-face?

        I was raised to believe that you default to the more restrictive, so one has to take explicit actions to "open up" functionality which can potentially bite one in the ass. I recall MS being slammed time after time for not doing this in other areas.

        You'd have me believe Win2K is preferable because its the last MS OS that didn't start taking this path any way seriously????

    • Not only that (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:42AM (#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.
    • The lack of an option for MS Remote Desktop is a big reason to look at a move to XP.. but other than that, I can't see a whole lot of other compelling reasons. The organizations I deal with are not planning a move from 2000 in the near future.
  • But maybe not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:16AM (#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 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rmjohnso ( 891555 )
      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
    • Re:But maybe not (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheLinuxWarrior ( 240496 ) <aaron.carr@aaRED ... com minus distro> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:23AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ILikeRed ( 141848 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:44AM (#12822297) Journal

        Well, XP does have one additional goodie.... I know of a couple companies that would rather not bother with product activation.

        The best story I know of personally is with a notebook demanding reactivation for hardware changes during an XP trial while the user was on the road in a remote location with no way to activate... to bad it was the CEO's notebook. I guess these companies pushing product activation just can not understand why some customers resent being treated as copyright infringers.

    • Re:But maybe not (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nytewynd ( 829901 )
      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
      • Re:But maybe not (Score:3, Interesting)

        by swv3752 ( 187722 )
        Most shops probably upgraded to win2k less than three years ago. While there is significant feature for the home user to use XP over 2k, for a business that has an IT dept, there are no compelling reasons to switch. The few minor things that XP has like CD burning or remote assist, are already handled by some third party app on 2k. A 2Ghz+ is not going to feel any slower than a 3Ghz+ when just using office apps.
    • No kidding! It's pretty funny that after years of making less than impressive operating systems, what is now hurting MS is that they made a good one and now people aren't upgrading. If something works, why change it?

      I don't think this is unique to Windows, though. How many shops are still on older versions of Solaris, Red Hat, or Suse? Heck, even Steve Jobs can't understand why people on OS X 10.2 and previous have not upgraded yet. Unless you *have* to have the latest and greatest -- or are running some s
  • Good enough wins. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:17AM (#12822111)
    Certainly in the mass market. Why upgrade if you're not getting any significant benefit and possibly causing yourself huge amounts of grief?

  • 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.
  • We still have 98 running on several systems..
  • Why Change? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Adrilla ( 830520 ) *
    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.
  • 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 a
  • Why would they? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZiakII ( 829432 ) * on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:20AM (#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.
  • 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, thi
  • Speaking of XP... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kennyj449 ( 151268 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:22AM (#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?
  • Two things (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cthefuture ( 665326 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:26AM (#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).
    • 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.
    • [quote]I don't know what I'm going to do if they stop supporting 2000[/quote] Why not just keep on using it? It's not like Win2k will stop working simply because M$ doesn't support it anymore. In fact, I cannot remember ever needing their support, so I'm sure I can do without it.
  • 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. :)
    • Just because you have a new version doesn't mean you're innovating. Countless industries crank out the same crap every year (auto, entertainment, etc.) There are no real innovations in the newest version that I'd need to have, so I'll save myself the time and expense of an OS upgrade.

      If MS doesn't want customers complaining (not sure this is true, but...), they need but support useful products for as long as customers are willing to pay for them.
  • 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.
  • Soft Sell Upgrade (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:27AM (#12822182) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • What new features? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by asciiRider ( 154712 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:30AM (#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
  • We keep Win98-SE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daveewart ( 66895 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:31AM (#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.
  • 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 s
  • 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 thin
  • by Crimson Dragon ( 809806 ) * on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:35AM (#12822243) Homepage
    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...
  • Longhorn can come out next year, Debian was released ;)
  • by ewg ( 158266 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:39AM (#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.
  • Are you kidding? (Score:4, Informative)

    by illuminatedwax ( 537131 ) <stdrange@alumni. ... u ['go.' in gap]> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:41AM (#12822277) Journal
    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!
  • Why it is so big surprise for enterprises when companies stick with things which just work [tm]? For example, I'm linux advocat, but if company is very happy with it's Windows 2000 installation (and believe me, there are many shops with good windows admins), i would say - stick with that.

    It is actually always have been a problem - IT industry wants customers to move on, but customers want the opposite - stick with things wich works and don't mess with that. Yeah, there always are improvements which can be
  • by dutt ( 738848 )
    I work at Ericsson in Sweden and we use Windows 2000 on all office machines. There is ofcourse Unix, Linux and XP installations at some development centers, but for everyday work and mail Windows 2000 is used.

    XP does not give any increase in productivity and therefore there is no need to upgrade. Also at the rate Microsoft releases new operating systems the workload on the integration teams increase. Rolling out a new operating system requires a lot of testing on all the hardware found in the corporation.

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @08:57AM (#12822387)
    Have you tried upgrading??

    Your system is down for a minimum of several days, and possibly weeks as all the apps have to be reinstalled/upgraded/reconfigured. It may not work at all.

    If the system is WORKING then only a fool would bugger about with it. I have no intention of upgrading any of my WIn2K servers until such time as they are down for other reasons. And even then, only if I am sure that all the third party apps are guaranteed to work - most of our mission critical stuff is ONLY certified for WIn2k server edition. Mission-critical means if its down, we stop earning money. So down is not very good news.

  • Still using Win95 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:02AM (#12822418)
    I work for a large international company and we're still using Win95. We see no reason to change. Many of our PCs are used for basic Office apps and Unix terminal emulation. We're not connected to the Internet so we see no reason to spend thousends of pounds replacing the 486s running Win95. At ~£1000 per base unit and over 4,000 units it's £4,000,000 we just don't need to spend.
  • by Psykechan ( 255694 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:03AM (#12822426)
    I like Windows XP. However, I just don't understand why they did some of the things that they did with it.

    1. MSN Messenger auto running. Sure in a corp environment you can just have it disabled but it's annoying for small businesses that just don't have the IT resources to do it.

    2. OS popups. Notifications above the tray that bring you the most inane messages ever. Try plugging in a USB2 device into a system that only has USB1.1 and follow the popup's instructions. Who the hell thought this was a good idea? I'm sure this is from MS's "usability" group that brought us Clippy and Search Mutt.

    3. Window pane focus changes. This one I just don't understand. In 2k, if I open Windows Explorer in folder view, I can use the scroll wheel to scroll the pane that the mouse is over. In XP, I have to click the pane first to scroll. This probably doesn't affect many people but for those that it does, it is super annoying.

    Since 2k still works for most people, I can see why XP would have such a problem replacing it.
  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:03AM (#12822429) Homepage Journal
    IMHO this is a symptom of Microsoft taking something that ought to be plumbing or commodity, and turning it into a high-value, highly-visible product. The O.S. ought to be like plumbing and electrical wiring in your house, it just works. It's even more basic than the appliances, because you just assume that there's line current there when you plug in the toaster, or what have you. You just assume there are pipes behind that faucet and toilet. Furthermore, in the electrical case, you just assume there's a circuit breaker, GFI in the case of kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor.

    Following the house analogy a little further, Microsoft has turned the house into, "Here's the house + basic plumbing fixtures + basic appliances." Actually, that's not too far from the way a house is bought, EXCEPT...
    1: They've defined the whole package. When you buy a new house, you usually get to spec out fixtures and basic appliances.
    2: They want you to re-purchase the whole thing every 3 years. Usually I only re-purchase as things wear out, and repair as needed.
    3: They tend to bundle more appliances in with new releases. I'd never expect the toaster, food processor, and TV to be part of my "house" purchase.

    Now compare the house model to Gentoo Linux. Gentoo has releases, but for the most part you can ignore them. At the lowest maintenance level, you just run "glsa-check" and keep up with security fixes. Higher maintenance levels are available if you want to stay closer to the bleeding edge, but at no point are you forced or expected to chuck it all and reinstall the OS. Some updates can be painful, like the new baselayout last week on my server. (The desktops took it just fine.) But it was still better than a reinstall.

    OTOH, to be able to turn PVC piping and Romex into something people will line up for at midnight to buy is an interesting marketing feat, in itself.
  • Past Behavior (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GearheadX ( 414240 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:21AM (#12822563)
    On top of this, MS is suffering from the aftereffects of its own campaign to get companies to upgrade every time a new version came out. There are still quite a few businesses and government agencies who are stinging from the horrible botch that was ME.

    I know there are certainly still county and state government offices around where I live still using ME simply because nobody will budget OS upgrades.

    The workers are NOT pleased.
  • by Dammital ( 220641 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:23AM (#12822575)
    ... and then slipping delivery from 2004 to 2005 to 2006 to whenever.

    It's hard to justify upgrading your stable W2K server to XP if a successor product is just around the corner. Longhorn has been "just around the corner" for years.

    It's common practice for software vendors to preannounce product in order to keep customers from looking elsewhere. But sometimes the tactic can backfire.

  • Here's a thought... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NeuroManson ( 214835 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:31AM (#12822631) Homepage
    Push for legislation requiring software vendors such as Microsoft release the source code of software that they no longer support.

    While they'll bitch and moan, you'll have tons of programmers on the side who'd be chomping at the bit to supply support for legacy systems/OSes.

    Hell, I imagine that for the most part, you have the potential to rebuild a good deal of the computer industry, just by fixing holes in old MS products, etc, that MS in turn would save a fortune in no longer having to support.
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:35AM (#12822658) Homepage
    Make that not knowing their customers' customers.

    While it may be fine for a Microsoft customer (Don't laugh. So its like a Mafia customer. They make them an offer...) like Dell to sell all the machines with XP pre-installed we (a Dell customer to the tune of several 10K units per year) just strip that puppy off the machine and install a plain vanilla Win2k from a CD because its absolute murder on the software when something changes.

    If the OS changes and breaks something in our software, its a lot tougher and more expensive for us to fix (when its even possible. We probably won't be able to rehire the same team and most of the, uh, interesting documentation was done by osmosis.)

    Microsoft's XP can sit on the shelf 'till the Longhorn cows come home.

    Win2K is curently fine. We wouldn't even have gotten off NT4.0 if they hadn't 'end-of-life'd it. It did what was required and stayed out of the way.

    If that hurts Microsoft's pocket book, maybe they should get into the toy business.
  • by ear1grey ( 697747 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:46AM (#12822738) Homepage
    Reminders for January 2010
    1. January 1st 2010, 10:00 Write obvious story about how over half of MS customers are still using XP Professional SP3!. Maybe use multiple exclamation marks.
    2. January 1st 2010, 11:00 Write acceptance speech for election to the board of legends who have written similarly obvious stories about Win2K, WinNT4, WinNT3.51, Win98, Win95, Win3.11, Amiga Workbench 1.3, etc...
    3. ###
    4. Prophet
  • by z_gringo ( 452163 ) <`z_gringo' `at' `'> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @09:51AM (#12822799)
    Windows 2000 is one of their best platforms. It performs ok, and is more stable than anything they have previously put out. The only reason they would stop support for it is so that they can FORCE people to make unnecessary upgrades, and get more money.

    The fact that usage has only dropped by 4% shows that their customers still want to use it. I would think they would do a better job of doing what their clients want.

    This seems like a bad move.

  • Not Surprising... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GypC ( 7592 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @10:04AM (#12822917) Homepage Journal
    ... considering that Win2K was Microsoft's first, and last, decent operating system.
  • by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @11:09AM (#12823578)
    The spin on this story seems to be that MS will be hurt because their customers aren't upgrading to Win XP.

    The other fact that this story reveals is that many MS customers are so happy with Win 2K that they don't want to change. That inertia is far more damaging to the prospect of Linux on the desktop than it is to MS's bottom line.
  • I'm one of those who has not upgraded from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. It's not the software I dread, it's Microsoft's increasingly ridiculous enforcement of its own personal theory of Intellectual Property rigor. No, I'm not someone who cheats on licenses. I am meticulous about having valid licenses for all the machines in my home/office. HOWEVER, that means (a) I've paid for them and (b) I have the right number. It does NOT necessarily mean that when I have to reload a system, I have the kind of records to know whether the huge box of CD-ROM's I grab from my basement is organized enough to know that I've got the correct one of six disks. That means there's a huge chance as they get stronger with THEIR bookkeeping that one day it's going to start barfing at me about how I appear (to them) to have a disk that isn't the right one for this machine, or I appear to have two machines on the net using the same license. XP is even more strict about licenses than 2000, so I just dread their faulty software ragging on me.

    Even just to install the later version(s) of Media Player, you have to agree to some awful license that lets it sniff out your machine and make its own determination (without asking for my input) about whether I'm in violation of their license policies.

    And now they have other tools that are starting to do this as well.

    And XP is full of "more of same", which is why I have resisted upgrading.

    Why should I, a customer who believes he IS in compliance, fear these tools except because I don't trust Microsoft to implement them well and flexibly enough to do anything but screw me? Every time they are wrong, Microsoft gets another sale (or tries to) and I get no recourse. They can deny me bug fixes, upgrades, and so on based solely on their program's opinion of my license management practices.

    This problem has to be worse at sites where installation is so complicated that machines are ghosted. Presumably in the ghosting case, you buy a heap of licenses, but then you copy a single image to all the different machines. Well, that's all well and good, but when you get all done, you're all apparently violators.

    There's just a limit to what you can mechanically detect. And when you've got as much income as Microsoft plainly has, you need to learn to trust that most people must be paying you and not start to piss them off by treating them like they are cheaters.

    They should be investing in tools that allow them to flexibly manage a sense of how many licenses you have at a site, and that don't make me dig around in my basement every time I need to do an upgrade and it wants me to find the original disk from which I installed something to prove I'm a real person. I've given them far too much real money and have been too staunch a supporter of software-for-fee to be treated this way.

    Trying to force me into upgrading to a product that treats me worse by cutting support for one that does not is no way to engender my customer loyalty. Maybe if Microsoft doesn't care, it's time to start complaining to the various tools that I (again) BUY on Microsoft's platform and tell them I'm going to be jumping ship from Microsoft and that means I won't be buying their tools any more unless they run on Linux or Apple or wherever I end up. If Microsoft doesn't hear my little voice, maybe it will hear the voices of the tools that I want that are the only reason I buy from Microsoft. Maybe if I could buy Adobe InDesign or Adobe Photoshop for Linux (please don't tell me Gimp is good enough, because it's just not), I wouldn't have to buy Microsoft at all.
  • by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin,kosch&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @11:42AM (#12823904) Journal
    I have used Win 3.11(with patched), 98 (SP2), and I'm happy with 2000(SP2). So hopefully Longhorn will follow suit and be just as good in inovations and stability.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.