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Early parole: Conditional Windows 2K <BR> release on Jan 24

Redmond, Washington, 20 Jan 2000 - Microsoft will on Jan 24 release Windows 2000 on good behaviour,to system builders, at around US$386 for a 3-pack and $725 for the server version.This represents a $100 reduction over a similar pack of Windows NT Workstation 4.

Redmond, Washington, 20 Jan 2000 - Microsoft will on Jan 24 release Windows 2000 on good behaviour, to system builders, at around US$386 for a 3-pack and $725 for the server version.

This represents a $100 reduction over a similar pack of Windows NT Workstation 4.0, but also a hike of $66 for the server version.

Microsoft's Windows 2000 Launch for System Builders will make the new OS available through its distribution arm well in advance of the Feb. 17 official ship date, a first for the company, Microsoft executives said.

Apparently, this unprecedented move is to allow system builders enough time to get their systems ready for the launch. More than likely, it is also to thwart possible preparations by Linux and other anti-NT movements to steal fire from launch activities on the Feb 17 launch date. Another factor is the slowing sales of its systems builders in the systems builder channel in Europe and in the United States, as unveiled in the recently-release financial results.

The company defines systems builders as those who buy 1,000 or less copies of Windows per quarter. Many of these VARs are Value-Added Providers and resellers of PC hardware and barebones systems that serve small, local businesses.