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Official: Win2k to RTM today – announcement 5pm GMT

Redmond prepares for the Pushing Big Red Button ceremony

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Updated Windows 2000 has finally gone gold, and the High Command has scheduled a conference call hugging ceremony for 5pm GMT, 9am Pacific today. As reported here earlier, MS has been dropping heavy hints for the past 24 hours, but now it's certain-sure enough to book the phone lines. This means that Microsoft has met its most recent self-imposed deadline of releasing Win2k to manufacture before the end of the year. Not, one might hazard a guess, that the manufacturers will be absolutely busting to do much with the code this side of Yule. Some of them may have cases in the tech department who're sufficiently sad to want to download the final code now and start the final round of testing on the company's hardware, but as Microsoft's big commercial release is scheduled for 17th February there's no need for a great deal of urgency. The PC companies can probably expect to take six to eight weeks to shake the code down thoroughly, so they've still got leeway for this. And aside from the kudos of being able to ship a few prestige configurations early, their needs aren't particularly urgent, as they'll be expecting to ship lower volumes post-Christmas anyway. ®

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