There’s been a lot of news about Microsoft lately, not least of which is the introduction of the Windows XP operating system. However, there are important non-OS issues to consider about Microsoft. The resolution of the case with the Department of Justice and Microsoft’s controversial new licensing plan could cloud the adoption rate of all versions of Microsoft software in the enterprise. (For more on Microsoft’s licensing strategy, see “Microsoft’s License to Fail,” Page 40.) That said, if those issues get worked out, migrating to Windows XP could be a good move for your organization.
Whether or not to migrate to Windows XP will be among the myriad of issues CIOs will wrestle with in the coming year. The choice of operating system will increasingly take on importance as organizations move to replace aging PCs purchased in pre-Y2K days.
The easy answer? Remember the original name for Windows 2000? It was Windows NT 5.0. Think of Windows XP as the “dot one” release of Windows 2000. If your company has not deployed Windows 2000 in 2001 on a massive scale, Windows XP is the smart move as you go forward.
Ease of use, reliability and better performance top my list for recommending Windows XP as your client operating system. Windows XP is touted to crash less frequently and boot up faster. Microsoft senior officials claim users will add 40 hours of productivity to the average desktop annually. That sounds outrageous, but I’ve estimated that a faster booting up process alone will give users 7.08 additional hours of computing time each year.
Another feature I like about Windows XP is the real-time information delivery capability of Windows Messaging, Microsoft’s answer to AOL’s Instant Messenger. This too could add to the productivity of your employees as they communicate among themselves as well as with partners and customers.
In a recent CIO Quick Poll survey, a significant number of CIOs reported that their organization’s travel policies have changed following the events of Sept. 11. Bundled into Windows XP is a compelling upgrade to Microsoft’s Media Player, giving WinXP users scores of e-learning and virtual meeting opportunities?another plus in WinXP’s column.
Support is yet another reason to opt for Windows XP over Windows 2000. At launch, the clock starts ticking for Microsoft’s OS support programs. In 2002, Windows 2000 will have one year remaining on basic no-cost support. With Windows XP, a CIO gets three years of no-cost support.
The bottom line? Windows 9X users should skip Windows 2000 and move right to Windows XP.