Customers Find Windows 2000 Easy to Deploy and Manage

REDMOND, Wash., Mar. 16, 2000 — The word is out. Windows 2000 has only been available since Feb. 17, and according to early adopters such as AIMCO, Dorsey & Whitney, the Seattle Mariners and the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the new operating system is remarkably reliable, and easy to deploy and manage across even the most complex environments.

Take the experience of Don Bow, director of operations at the Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO), a real estate investment trust based in Denver, Colo. A participant in Microsoft’s early adopter program, Bow deployed Windows 2000 on 1,000 employee desktops in October and November. AIMCO decided to upgrade users from older operating systems such as Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 workstation because it wanted the company to standardize on a single desktop operating system, Bow says. AIMCO also wanted to take advantage of the ease of use that Windows 2000 provides, as well as the better tools it offers remote users.

“Once we got things set up, deployment went very smoothly,”
Bow says.
“Windows 2000 works very well, it allows us to control the software that users install on their desktops and it provides a lot more security both on the desktops and servers.”

To help companies as they migrate to Windows 2000, Microsoft announced two Windows 2000 Deployment Conferences: one in Geneva, March 27-29, and another in New Orleans, April 26-28. Part of the Microsoft TechNet series of events for information technology (IT) professionals, the two conferences will provide participants with the ‘know how’ and tools to make their own deployments faster, easier and more cost-effective. The conferences will offer participants the opportunity to get the in-depth technical and planning expertise they’re looking for, while learning from the experiences of those who have already deployed Windows 2000.

“For companies planning to deploy in the next 12 months, this is the only place to be,”
says Karen Carter, lead marketing manager of Microsoft’s Windows Platform Division.
“There may be other conferences, but nothing can match the caliber of experts that will be on hand in New Orleans and Geneva.”

To ensure the switch to Windows 2000 is as smooth and cost-effective as possible, Microsoft and its industry partners have provided a variety of tools and services for businesses of all sizes. For example, Windows 2000 comes with
“Setup Manager,”
which provides graphical wizards to help administrators design installation scripts. It also comes with a
“System Preparation Tool,”
which helps administrators prepare images of complete configurations that can then be ‘cloned’ onto other PCs, resulting in simpler, faster and more cost-effective deployments. Additional features such as the
“Remote OS Installation Service”
save time and reduce deployment costs by allowing administrators to fully automate the distribution of new installations of Windows

2000, including applying the users’ own application and policy settings. And features such as
“Windows Scripting Host”
“Terminal Services”
allow administrators to automate changes and remotely manage servers from a central location once Windows 2000 is installed.

“You’d have to work pretty hard to get a failed installation with Windows 2000,”
says Microsoft Product Manager Mark Croft.

Another key feature of Windows 2000 is that customers don’t have to deploy all at once. They can choose to deploy Windows 2000 Server for a specific purpose such as a Web server, File and Print server, or directory service that integrates existing and new applications, users, data and other resources into a unified environment. Or they can start by simply deploying Windows 2000 Professional on their PCs and laptops and upgrade their network or server infrastructure later.

“Deploying Windows 2000 has been made much simpler by including tools to help with automation and eliminate guesswork,”
says Croft.
“This means fewer people are needed, and deployment can be rapidly completed with less complexity and cost. We had clear feedback from our customers on what they needed for deploying Windows 2000, and we didn’t leave anything to chance.”

The Windows 2000 team worked with the largest group of corporate early adopters of any software release in Microsoft’s history. In fact, several companies, including Microsoft, deployed Windows 2000 across their networks before the product was released to manufacturing in December.

“From working with so many early adopters, we know what kind of information is most important for planning a Windows 2000 rollout,
“says Nadine Kano, lead program manager for Windows 2000.”
As a result, the material we’ll be presenting at the conferences is directly relevant to IT departments. It’s not just theory and feature overviews.

Scott MacDonald, principal consultant for infrastructure technology at Rainier Technology, was part of the team that deployed Windows 2000 at the law firm Dorsey and Whitney.

“We have been very impressed with the tools available to simplify the deployment process as well as the significant business value and cost savings that our clients are seeing,” he says. “We spent the majority of time up front, architecting the right solution for this client’s environment, which made the deployment process extremely painless.”

IT professionals attending the Windows 2000 Deployment Conferences will get rigorous technical content delivered by product experts from the Windows 2000 development team and Microsoft Consulting Services, and the opportunity to rub elbows with the customers who are already running their businesses on the new operating system. In addition to technical lectures, the conference will present case studies and conduct small group discussions called
“chalk talks”
to provide an interactive forum for questions and answers.

Attendees can choose among task-based tracks, including planning, operations and support, and theme-based tracks, including reliability, security and interoperability. These tracks will take participants step-by-step through planning, deploying and testing Windows 2000 environments, and explain how Windows 2000 addresses key tasks and themes.

“The most important message I want people to come away from the conferences with is that there’s no reason to wait,”
says Kano.
“In the past, conventional wisdom dictated that businesses wait until a service pack release before deploying a new OS. Windows 2000 is different.”

Microsoft announced yesterday that sales of Windows 2000 had exceeded one million units.
“This is strong evidence that customers are actively evaluating and deploying Windows 2000,”
Croft says.

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