Customers, Market Watchers and Application Service Providers Confirm Reliability of Windows 2000

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an independent survey conducted by Sunbelt Software Inc., which concluded that on average the Windows® 2000 Professional operating system is twice as reliable as the Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 operating system and three times more reliable than either Windows 98 or Windows 95. Application service providers such as DIGEX Inc. and solution providers such as Symix Systems Inc. are seeing increased plans for adoption of Microsoft® Windows 2000 because of the enhanced reliability of the platform. Customers such as CenterBeam Inc., Panel Processing Inc. and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. are deploying Windows 2000 Professional and Server and are experiencing tremendous reliability improvements, including higher system uptime, application failure resiliency and decreased planned system downtime.

“Customers have told us that reliability is the most important requirement for a business operating system. It can mean the difference between achieving business goals or losing business if systems aren’t performing at the levels customers expect,”
said Deborah Willingham, vice president of Windows Marketing at Microsoft.
“With Windows 2000, Microsoft has set a new bar in the area of reliability by addressing our customers’ reliability needs and, at the same time, lowering total cost of ownership. The operating system allows customers to achieve their business productivity goals by providing a stable platform that enhances desktop productivity and decreases service disruptions when operating servers.”

Sunbelt Findings

A survey conducted by Sunbelt Software polled a wide variety of corporations regarding reliability in their experience with Windows 2000 Professional. Windows 2000 Professional is on average two times more reliable than Windows NT Workstation and three times more reliable than Windows 95 and Windows 98. Of the corporate customers polled using Windows 2000, over 90 percent said that Windows 2000 Professional was more reliable than Windows 9.x, and 75 percent of the respondents said Windows 2000 was more reliable than Windows NT Workstation.

“Customers equate desktop operating system reliability with the ability to do more stuff, more of the time. This leads to greater overall productivity and helps organizations realize better bottom-line benefits,”
said Stu Sjouwerman, president of Sunbelt Software.
“The more than 1,000 customers that responded to the survey overwhelmingly felt that Windows 2000 Professional was more reliable than earlier versions of Windows – proof that Microsoft is clearly delivering reliability for customers.”

Windows 2000 provides a more reliable platform; its improved architecture helps ensure higher system uptime and more consistent application performance, enabling businesses to achieve greater levels of availability.

“DIGEX provides Web- and application-hosting solutions. Reliability is a crucial component to the success and competitive advantage of our clients,”
said Mark Shull, CEO of DIGEX.
“The majority of our servers are hosted on Windows, and the platform meets and exceeds the critical reliability requirements our customers demand. Windows provides robust development tools and is a very cost-effective solution, which is why we’re seeing our customers making the move to the Windows platform. We expect this trend to continue with the release of Windows 2000.”

The complete text of the study is available at http://www.sunbelt-software.com/survey_00jan.cfm .

High System Uptime

Windows 2000 includes many new features designed to boost reliability and availability, including Windows File Protection, clustering technology and new driver certification standards. Windows File Protection prevents critical system files from being deleted or altered by users or applications. Clustering, where a group of servers works together as a single machine and shares the traffic load, allows for failover, and certified drivers help ensure that customers can seamlessly install new hardware or change system settings without rebooting.

Enhanced reliability is just one reason that CenterBeam, the leading provider of subscription computing to small businesses, bases its offering on Windows 2000. CenterBeam has standardized on Dell hardware throughout its operation, including its enterprise-class data center, and for a monthly fee customers receive Dell desktop computers, notebook computers and servers, a Lucent wireless network, 24×7 customer support, daily backup of all data, disaster recovery, a high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet connection, and access to a host of online business process applications.

“Windows 2000 enables our data center to achieve the 99.9 percent uptime we and our customers demand,”
said Sheldon Laube, chairman and CEO of CenterBeam.
“Small businesses need and expect the same level of service and support that large businesses require. We chose to base our solutions on Microsoft Windows 2000, an enterprise-level operating system, and Dell hardware because the solution delivers reliability and dependability to our customers.”

Resilient to Application Failures

The Microsoft Software Installer (MSI) enables applications to protect themselves by detecting changes or problems that could destabilize the system. Windows 2000 takes memory protection to a higher level and protects other applications or processes from the effects of errant applications. Microsoft has joined forces with business customers and ISVs to create the Windows 2000 Certified Application program, designed as a road map to show developers how to build the most reliable, secure and manageable solutions possible for Windows 2000.

Symix, a leading provider of e-commerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and implementations has been delivering and implementing Windows-based solutions for years. Symix’s SyteLine solution provides an entire business system framework for midmarket manufacturers and is currently in the application certification process for Windows 2000. Panel Processing, a retail display manufacturer, chose Symix’s SyteLine ERP solution primarily because of the breadth and integration of the SyteLine suite and the strength of the Windows 2000 platform.

“We’ve been running various beta versions of Windows 2000 since October 1999, and we’re impressed with the results. The reliability and stability of SyteLine running on Windows 2000 allows us to shorten the time required for system maintenance and to continue to meet our customers’ requirements,”
said Al Kelsey, project manager of Panel Processing’s SyteLine implementation team.
“The move to Windows 2000 makes sense for us because we want to ensure that we’re using the latest technology; we want that technology to work without fail; and we want to ensure that we’re getting the greatest reliability, performance and value across the board.”

Dynamic System Configuration

Windows 2000 makes it possible for users and administrators to be more productive because their systems can stay up and running, even when users are performing administrative tasks or updating their PCs. The Plug and Play functionality in Windows 2000 automatically detects and recognizes new devices such as scanners and printers and installs them without the need for user intervention or rebooting.
“Hot swapping”
allows users to dock and undock their laptops and other media devices without shutting the system down. Finally, Windows 2000 addresses system reliability by reducing the need for up to 70 percent of common reboot scenarios. IT administrators no longer need to reboot the system for such tasks as changing network server settings, or desktop configurations.

“Enabling Toshiba’s mobile workers to work any time and in any way they want requires an extremely robust operating system. Before installing Windows 2000, 25 percent of our internal help desk calls were related to system crashes of one kind or another,”
said Dave McDonald, chief information officer, Toshiba America Information Systems.
“The reliability gains with Windows 2000 have been so significant that we moved up our companywide rollout schedule by a full year, with our senior executives and mobile users at the forefront of that deployment. Toshiba is not only more productive because of the improved reliability, we are now able to work on our own terms, free from the constraints we faced with previous operating systems.”

Availability

General availability of Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server begins on Feb. 17, 2000. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is expected to be available approximately 90 to 120 days later.

About Windows 2000 and Microsoft

Windows 2000 is an ideal platform for the next generation of business computing and addresses the full range of customers’ computing needs, from laptops and desktops to high-end, clustered servers. The operating system helps organizations Internet-enable their business with a reliable, manageable infrastructure that is optimized for existing and emerging hardware. More information about Windows 2000 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/ and at 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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