Microsoft Acknowledges Significant Numbers Still Using Windows 2000

Though the company would have you believe that it is only Windows XP users who are holding out, there has been an announcement that makes it somewhat clear that some users are out there who really like the old code.

The report comes from Information Week as they disseminate the required information from Microsoft –

Software maker eyes cutoff date for support for XP, as well as for Windows 2000.

The company will officially end support Windows XP SP2, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Client on July 13, 2010, according to an official company blog post.

The software maker is encouraging users of those operating systems to upgrade systems to Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 by the cutoff date. It’s also reminding customers that upgrades directly from Windows 2000 to Windows 7 are not officially supported.

Users in the latter category will first have to upgrade to Windows XP, and then migrate over to Windows 7.

Microsoft has released a number of tools designed to ease the pain of upgrading systems to a new OS. “We have created an End-of-Support Solution Center to help with the planning of your migration strategy,” said Microsoft’s Stephen Rose, in a blog post Sunday.

The online resources include a Windows XP-to-Windows 7 migration guide, the Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit, and the User State Migration Tool.

While seven months might seem like plenty of time for businesses to prepare for the end of Windows XP support, the fact is that all but a handful of enterprises are still using the software as their main OS for end users.

Few upgraded to Windows Vista due to concerns about application compatibility and performance issues, and Windows 7, on the market for less than two months, remains too new to instill IT managers with much of a comfort level.

Surveys show that most corporations weren’t planning to move to Windows 7 until at least a full year after its release—but with Microsoft’s deadline looming, many may now be forced to reconsider their plans.

Microsoft is likely to continue providing major security updates for Windows XP and Windows 2000 after ending support, but won’t offer performance patches, service packs or other non-critical upgrades.

For large businesses, perhaps a price break on Windows 7 would bring it home. I know for the small business, an extension of the family pack would have done some good.

It is very strange how Microsoft seems to become conciliatory toward the users and then backs off that treatment in waves. This vacillation makes for a user base that is never sure of the treatment they will get. It certainly does not endear Microsoft to those users.

Though some in the political arena say the phrase everyday, no one at Microsoft seems to have heard it, or paid any attention.

It’s the economy, stupid!



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