Gates Ushers in Next Generation of PC Computing With Launch of Windows 2000

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17, 2000 — Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates officially announced today the worldwide availability of the Windows® 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating systems, addressing a worldwide audience that spanned more than 100 cities. Declaring Windows 2000 the first in the greatest generation of products ever released by Microsoft, Gates predicted that customers of Windows 2000 will receive significant reliability, scalability, performance and cost-effectiveness advantages over alternative platforms.

In support of the unprecedented scalability and performance gains of Microsoft® Windows 2000, Gates announced a new world record Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmark number of 227,079 tpmCs for Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Microsoft SQL Server TM 2000 running on 12 Compaq eight-way ProLiant systems. This new world record is almost twice as fast as the nearest competitor, at one-fourth the price/performance. This system is so powerful that it is capable of handling the total number of retail e-commerce transactions in 1999 in only 48 hours.

Gates also cited independent testing by Ziff-Davis Labs, which showed the specific reliability benefits of Windows 2000 over earlier generations. According to the test, with constant and intense use in the 90 workdays that Ziff-Davis Labs ran the test, Windows 2000 never failed. In comparison, Windows 95 had to be rebooted every 2.1 days and Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 had to be rebooted every 5.2 days.

“Today we unveil the future of computing. Companies of all sizes are already deploying Windows 2000 for its scalability, reliability and performance,”
said Gates.
“Windows 2000 represents a significant industrywide effort. More than 1,000 partners, over $1 billion in engineering and more than 5,000 individuals rallied together to make this product the platform that companies can bet their businesses on. Windows 2000 truly begins the next generation of computing.”

In a high-energy keynote address, Gates and event host, actor Patrick Stewart (
“Star Trek Next Generation”
), introduced the latest generation of the Windows operating system using a giant 40-foot laptop and live demonstrations. Twelve-time Grammy nominee rock musician Carlos Santana and his band also joined Gates onstage.

Gates, along with his co-host Stewart, introduced four popular computing scenarios: the Business PC, the Enterprise, the Internet and PC Innovations.

The Business PC scenario focused on Windows 2000 Professional and demonstrated how the typical knowledge worker will benefit from the most reliable business client.
“Windows 2000 Professional is the replacement for Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops,”
said Gates. Gates also announced that over 65,000 clients are running Windows 2000 Professional, and 7,000 Windows 2000 Server- and Windows 2000 Advanced Server-based platforms are already deployed in production environments at more than 250 customer sites worldwide.

Gates cited newly released customer studies on Windows 2000 from Barnes & Noble Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston, Lockheed Martin Corp., Eastman Chemical Co. and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., validated by the Giga Information Group. These studies are evidence that customers of all sizes project receiving significant value from Windows 2000 and a payback of their investment in less than 12 months.

The Enterprise scenario highlighted Windows 2000 Server, demonstrating its cost-effectiveness and scalability for enterprise customers. Gates demonstrated the single machine scalability of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server running the Amadeus/ITA inter-airline fare application on the 16-processor Unisys ES7000. This demonstration showed the hardware scalability of Windows 2000.

“For a business in the banking industry, reliability, availability and scalability are critical,”
said Henry Nash, senior director, Credit Suisse First Boston.
“We are migrating our servers, which are mostly composed of Sun UNIX servers, to Windows 2000. We expect in extreme examples to gain 30 times the price/performance.”

The Internet scenario illustrated the leadership and momentum of Windows 2000 on the Web and how the platform allows companies to easily Internet-enable their businesses. To demonstrate the scale-out capabilities of Windows 2000, supporting a no-single-point-of-failure architecture, Gates showed 35 Dell servers and 500 Dell clients handling over 1.6 billion hits per day using CBS MarketWatch. This is equivalent to 10 times the typical traffic MarketWatch generates.

General Motors Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer Ralph Szygenda joined Gates onstage to demonstrate GM’s leading-edge e-commerce application, GM TradeXchange, which takes full advantage of the Windows 2000 platform. TradeXchange is the portal and hub of a virtual global marketplace that allows GM and its trading partners to transact business over the Internet, buying and selling goods — electronically and in real time — and leveraging each other’s collective purchasing power.

“For the past four years, we have been working hard to implement e-business in our business-to-consumer, business-to-business and business-to-employee areas,”
said Szygenda.
“We are today a leading electronic business but must move quickly as the automotive industry continues to transform itself. Windows 2000 is an important part of GM’s information technology infrastructure that will provide much of the foundation for GM’s fast-expanding electronic businesses.”

“We at Microsoft are excited about having a company such as General Motors as one of our early adopters,”
said Gates.
“GM is a world leader in electronic business, and we are pleased that Windows 2000 will be key in its e-business strategy.”

Gates announced that more than 20,000 Web sites are already using the Windows 2000 platform. He referred specifically to 25 of the most popular sites that are already 100 percent in production on Windows 2000, including Bigcharts.com, Buy.com, CDW.com, DataReturn.com, Dell.com, Hotbot.com, Infospace.com, Monster.com, Nasdaq.com, Nordstrom.com, Pandesic.com, Plasticsnet.com, Realtor.com, ValuPage.com and Virtualbank.com.

The Innovation scenario demonstrated the versatility of the Windows 2000 platform and the creative ways companies and individuals are using it. Using a video, Gates showed how ESPN was able to photograph the Winter X Games with digital cameras and digital filming techniques, by using a preview version of the next version of Adobe Premiere and Windows 2000. Adobe Premiere, like many of the 28 applications Certified for Windows 2000 and the more than 8,000 Windows 2000 Ready applications, has taken advantage of the rich functionality that the Windows 2000 platform offers.

In the last demonstration, Gates clicked his mouse on the symbol on the giant laptop for the Windows Media TM Player. The laptop disappeared to reveal Carlos Santana and his band playing music from their new hit CD
“Supernatural.”

Availability

General availability of Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server begins today. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is expected to be available in approximately 120 days.

About Windows 2000 and Microsoft

More information about Windows 2000 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/ and http://www.microsoft.com/technet/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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