Microsoft

When should you move to Windows 2000?

With both Windows XP and Blackcomb on the horizon, is it a good time for your organization to migrate to Windows 2000? Find out what Gartner research director Michael Silver thinks and then join the debate.


If you’ve been in the IT business for any number of years, you’ve probably been through an operating system (OS) migration. I have been through several OS upgrades and have never relished the process, particularly if the new OS was significantly different from the previous one. Yet in the ever-changing world of IT, OS upgrades are a fact of life, and the question usually isn’t whether your organization will move to a new OS but when. In this article, I’ll outline the strategies and suggestions of Gartner research director Michael Silver, who believes that “well-thought-out and documented goals are imperative to a successful Win2000 migration.”

Michael Silver
Michael Silver is a research director in Gartner's Research organization. Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Silver worked for IBM and ISSC. Most recently, he performed requirements analysis and systems design and integration, concentrating on best-of-breed hardware and software products from the server to the desktop, for clients in the New York City area. Mr. Silver earned a bachelor's degree in business from Pace University and a master's degree in business administration, with a concentration in marketing and international business, from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Michael Silver is a research director in Gartner's Research organization. Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Silver worked for IBM and ISSC. Most recently, he performed requirements analysis and systems design and integration, concentrating on best-of-breed hardware and software products from the server to the desktop, for clients in the New York City area. Mr. Silver earned a bachelor's degree in business from Pace University and a master's degree in business administration, with a concentration in marketing and international business, from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

It’s all in the timing
While Gartner believes that Windows 98 and Windows NT 4 are viable through the year 2004, Microsoft will no longer offer assisted support for these products after June 30, 2003. “Critical users and applications should be migrated off these platforms before that date,” said Silver, “and we recommend that all users be off these platforms by year end 2004.” According to Silver, organizations should determine how long they could maintain legacy operating systems without exposing themselves to unnecessary risk. All migration plans should be cost-justified before implementation.

Should you wait for Windows XP?
According to Gartner, organizations should not have problems skipping the first release of Windows 2000 and waiting for Windows XP, due out the fourth quarter 2001. However, Gartner is concerned that in 2002, enterprises who skipped Windows 2000 R1 will decided to wait for Blackcomb, Microsoft’s next OS (due late 2003). “While we view Whistler [Windows XP] as a minor release that will be little more than a service pack to Windows 2000,” Silver said, “we expect Blackcomb to be a major release that may have user interface implications and may necessitate a relatively quick migration due to coexistence issues.” Then there’s always the chance Blackcomb’s release date will slip, forcing organizations to support Windows 98 and Windows NT for far too long.
Windows 2000 migrations will be one of the many IT issues that analysts and participants will discuss at Gartner's Spring Symposium ITxpo. This event will take place in Denver from May 7-10, 2001. Michael Silver’s session on Windows 2000 migrations will include:
  • Effective Windows 2000 enterprise migration planning.
  • Pitfalls to avoid during a Windows 2000 migration.
  • Active Directory’s role in migration and management of Windows 2000 resources.
Learn more about symposium and IT trends by visiting our Gartner Symposium/ITxpo center.
Discuss this article with Michael Silver
Has your organization already performed a Windows 2000 migration? Or is your organization contemplating a Windows 2000 migration? Why did your organization decide to go forward with the migration? Or, conversely, why did your organization not decide to go forward with a migration at this time?

Join the discussion by posting a comment below. Several times during the next few weeks, Silver will be checking the discussion. While he will try to answer as many questions as possible, due to his busy schedule, he may not respond to every post.

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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