Can Microsoft beat the Year 2000 budget blues? Time's running out.
If you were among those expecting Microsoft Corp. to ship Windows 2000 by mid-1999, don't hold your breath.
Beta 3 of the long-awaited operating system is now not expected to reach testers until April, Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) officials confirm. And Microsoft itself, in a tacit acknowledgment that Windows 2000 won't be a first-half product, told resellers this week that it is extending its Windows NT Server 4.0 upgrade promotion through June 30. The Windows 2000 jinx Win 2000 beta by Valentine's Day?
NT 5.0 renamed Windows 2000 -- due out in early 1999
If Windows 2000 slips much beyond a mid-year ship date, Microsoft could find itself facing head-on problems that the company has claimed are figments of analysts' imaginations: Namely, that IS departments, faced with Year 2000 budget concerns, may hold off for a year or more from deploying Windows 2000 en masse.
Microsoft officials this week acknowledged that April is now the Beta 3 target, and claim any date slippage in the beta won't negatively impact the final ship date.
"We're still shooting, hopefully, for an end of year ship date," says a corporate spokeswoman. "We are still expecting we can get it out before year-end."