Users should avoid migrating to Windows NT 4.0 in the misguided belief that it will be easier to move to Windows 2000 later or they risk forking out a lot of money, not least to Microsoft.
Any migration at the server level should be based on application requirements because NT Server 3.51 will remain a viable operating system (OS) until the end of 2001 and Netware 5 is still technically superior to NT 4.0, according to Michael Gartenberg, Gartner Group analyst at the market research firm?s ?Windows NT in the Enterprise? conference in Palm Springs on Tuesday.
On the desktop, however, it will cost between 32-50 per cent more on average to move to NT Workstation than to migrate to Windows 9x from Windows 3.x. And until the end of 2000, 90 per cent of all organisations attempting to move to NT at the desktop and mobile level will fail anyway and end up with a mixture of both NT and Windows 9x.
?Focus on building a well managed environment now and don?t take each upgrade because economically it?s not worth it. The argument is that a homogeneous environment costs less, but the cost of implementing a homogeneous environment is higher than having one,? Gartenberg said.
?There?s no reason to migrate from Windows 98 to NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 and if you do, you might as well open a bank account in the name of Bill Gates. Microsoft doesn?t create products but technology streams and it?s just a way to up prices without upping prices. While it will axe Windows 98 from 2002 out in favour of mainstream NT, the notion you need to get to NT now is ridiculous,? he added.
Users should also not buy into Microsoft?s hype that the two environments are converging into one NT platform. While some technology is being shared, the software giant is likely to bundle, market and license the variants into different packages for different classes of users.
As a result, enterprises should not focus on whether to select NT or Windows 9x, but on which is most appropriate to what users.
Where the OS will be used for high end applications or where high availability and high level security are key, enterprises NT is most appropriate, but Windows 9x is still most cost effective for productivity packages and departmental client/server systems, Gartenberg concluded.
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