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MS fixes February for Win2k rollout

But it's really not late, no sir...

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Microsoft finally gave in to pressure from The Register yesterday and fixed the release date of Windows 2000 for February, as we've been predicting for some time. The date - specifically, 17th February - doesn't entirely abolish the frenzied debate (Date prediction industry goes into overdrive) over when the software will go to beta RC3 and when it will be released to manufacturing, but it certainly takes the pressure off. Microsoft was intending to release RC3 prior to Comdex, but that's probably no longer seen as urgent. The company does however say it still intends to RTM before the end of the year. But that again needn't be too vital. Microsoft's party line now is that it always meant RTM by year end when it said it intended to ship Win2k by the end of the year, and so long as it does that, Win2k isn't late - honest. There's a fair bit of flexibility there too, however. You could interpret RTM as meaning just freezing the code prior to shipping it to the PC OEMs, and if you claimed you'd done that a day or two before Christmas, your luckless Microserfs would still have a couple of weeks for final twiddling before any of the OEMs actually wanted it. But that's an unworthy Register thought - if Microsoft is confident enough to set a firm date, then it ought to be in a position to have Win2k done before 31st December. We also incidentally hear some interesting things about the focus of the Win2k push Microsoft and its happy campers in the PC companies will be mounting from February. Microsoft's strategists, we're told, have decided an early push of Win2k in the server sector will be futile and damaging, and are therefore going bald-headed for client upgrades. This is actually a sensible idea, at least from Microsoft's point of view (Full story follows shortly). ®

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