Windows NT users will face a stiff bill to ensure that their systems are ready for Year 2000, according to researchers at Gartner Group.
Speaking to delegates at the Gartner Symposium in Cannes this week, analyst Jeff Pandolfo said there are some "major Year 2000 issues" with NT. This is despite Microsoft's assurances that NT 3.51 is millennium compliant, and that NT 4.0 has only minor issues.
Users of both operating systems with a non-current service pack face 100 hours of lab testing and four hours of work applying patches for every NT server. This drops to 60 hours of testing and two hours of work with current service packs, says Gartner.
NT 3.51 users who wish to upgrade to NT 4.0 will face an additional cost of $3,900 to $4,200 per server, Pandolfo said.
But he said that users of NT 3.51 are not obliged to upgrade to version 4.0 now that NT 5.0 has been delayed until 2000.
"We would not expect anyone to use NT 5.0 in a full production application before the first service pack is released in 2001," Pandolfo said. "NT 3.51 will be adequate until then."
Microsoft has told customers that it will be easier to upgrade to NT 5.0 from 4.0 rather than 3.51 - but according to Pandolfo "that is not the case".
Microsoft was unavailable for comment.
Colin Barker is associate editor on Computing.
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