US Report: NT changes name to Windows 2000

While insisting that it will ship its next version of NT in 1999, Microsoft also let slip the renaming of NT 5.0 "Windows 2000."

As part of its announcement, Microsoft added a new member to the NT lineup -- Windows 2000 Datacenter Server -- which will ship 60 to 90 days after the rest of the Windows 2000 family.

The Datacenter product will support 16-way SMP (32-way when preloaded on OEM systems), 64GB of physical memory, clustering and OLTP services. It is targeting this version of NT squarely at the Unix systems, which still run the majority of high-end database and transaction systems.

In addition to NT Datacenter Server, Microsoft's re-christened Windows 2000 family will include the following members:

* Windows 2000 Professional, currently known as NT Workstation 5.0, will be Microsoft's business desktop and mobile offering.

* Windows 2000 Server, currently known as NT Server 5.0, this workgroup server will support 4-way SMP.

* Windows 2000 Advanced Server, currently called NT Server Enterprise Edition 5.0, this departmental server will support 4-way SMP, network operating system and Internet services and integrated front- and back-end clustering.

Brad Chase, vice president of Windows Marketing and Developer Relations, said the new naming conventions "would make it easier for customers to choose among products." He said the new names were designed to end confusion over kernels and desktop vs. server issues. Pricing, delivery details not yet released.

Microsoft would not provide any pricing or delivery details, beyond noting Windows 2000 pricing would not deviate much from current NT 4.0 pricing. Officials did note, however, that Windows 2000 Advanced Server would likely be cheaper than the current NT Server Enterprise Edition 4.0 product.

Beta 3 of the Professional, Server and Advanced Server offerings will not be available until the first quarter of 1999, despite some testers having been told to expect code before the end of this year.

Microsoft officials did not specify the naming schemes it plans to use for future versions of NT -- including the forthcoming NT Consumer (the successor to Windows 98), Embedded NT (code-named Impala) and/or 64-bit NT. But based on the new system, which mirrors closely the naming scheme Microsoft is employing for Office 2000, NT Consumer would likely be called "Windows 200X."


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