Windows 2000 will not be fit to roll out until the middle of next year, according to analysts at researcher Gartner Group.
Gartner advises organisations thinking of using the software to start their preparations immediately.
Microsoft has missed this week?s planned shipping date for the final public beta of Windows 2000. The third beta for the successor to Windows NT 4.0 ships next week.
Gartner analyst Ed Thompson said at a London conference this week: ?Windows 2000 won?t be in a reasonably stable, feature complete general release until at least the middle of 2000.?
However, he has already spoken to five major banks who are planning an eventual migration to a mix of IBM S/390 and Windows 2000 servers.
Thompson said these banks and other large organisations will be crying out for staff with Win 2000 skills in two years? time. By 2001, Gartner predicts a massive increase in demand for Win 2000 skills, with, ?salaries going through the roof.?
IT managers looking to migrate to the platform in 2001 should, ?ask for five to 10 per cent of their migration budget this year for training, and 20 per cent next year,? advises Thompson. NT 4.0 skills will not all be transferable, he warned.
When Microsoft released NT 4.0 in 1997, it was accused of releasing bug ridden software. Since then it has issued four service packs to fix bugs and upgrade the operating system. A fifth is due in three weeks? time, and a sixth is in development.
Microsoft said this week that Windows 2000 will ship ?when it?s ready,? and no earlier. The company has, however, been widely reported as planning to ship it in October this year.
Thompson said that even when Windows 2000 ships, many functions will not be as reliable as those provided by third party software add ons or existing features in NT 4.0. These include hierarchical storage, desktop manageability and security.
Thompson also said that the symmetric multi-processing in Win 2000 will only be useful for up to six processors.
For further stories see 22 April issue of Computing
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