The Corporate Policy of

By Sean Gallagher  |  Posted 2002-12-01 Print this article Print

Citigroup wasn't ready to stop using Windows NT or 2000. So it and other large companies forced Microsoft to extend support.

The Corporate Policy of Delay

For some companies, the delay has been a matter of corporate policy. Bob O'Brien, Microsoft's group product manager for the Windows Server division, admits some customers—such as FleetBoston Financial—have followed a "skip release" philosophy toward Windows, deliberately standardizing on a known stable release and waiting out the entire next product cycle before upgrading.

As recently as April, Windows NT 4.0 was still the standard server operating system for FleetBoston's commercial banking division, according to Marvin Meyer, technical architect for the commercial division of Fleet's wholesale technology and operations.

But many companies have been slow to roll out Windows 2000 on servers even after initially committing to the move. Major barriers to rapid deployment of Windows 2000 include its built-in directory service, Active Directory, which was a major departure from the user directory architecture of Windows NT.

O'Brien agrees that the amount of implementation planning required for "getting their Active Directory service architected right" was a major bottleneck in some customers' acceptance of Windows 2000, but adds, "Windows 2000 deployments have been accelerating over the past 18 months as companies became more familiar with Active Directory designs. There has been a lot of focus for customers on getting a solid AD architecture designed and in place."

Sean Gallagher is editor of Ziff Davis Internet's enterprise verticals group. Previously, Gallagher was technology editor for Baseline, before joining Ziff Davis, he was editorial director of Fawcette Technical Publications' enterprise developer publications group, and the Labs managing editor of CMP's InformationWeek. A former naval officer and former systems integrator, Gallagher lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

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