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HP: we're Windows 2000-ready

Hewlett-Packard launches service practice for Windows 2000

On Wednesday, Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced a new Microsoft Services Operation, dedicated in large part to supporting Windows 2000.

"This will be 100 percent focused on Microsoft end-to-end solutions," said Michael Noble, business development manager for HP's Microsoft Services Operation. "We'll provide consulting, education, deployment and mission-critical services."

The company made its announcement at the Windows 2000 Conference and Expo in San Francisco, which is on in this week. It announced its plans to provide Windows 2000 life-cycle services two weeks ago, at the same time that rivals Compaq and Dell Computer announced details of their respective Windows 2000 service offerings.

HP already staffs service practices dedicated to Unix, Linux and outsourcing services, acknowledged Noble. But its Microsoft Services Operation -- which HP formed internally last November, but didn't announce until this week -- is the fastest growing unit within its Customer Service and Support Group, company officials said. The Microsoft Services Operation is growing at a 100 percent per year rate, Nobel said.

The Microsoft Services Operation will provide customers with Windows 2000-centric services, ranging from assessment and migration planning, to Active Directory planning and server and storage consolidation. HP is consolidating its Windows 2000 support, consulting and license management specialists within the new unit.

The company touted its work with Windows 2000 Joint Deployment Partner (JDP) customers -- it's a JDP itself -- which provided it with a substantial base of expertise for its Windows 2000 services work. HP has also developed Windows 2000-specific High Availability Observatory (HAO) technology aimed at monitoring and proactively warning users about potential system problems. It already had developed similar Unix HAO technology, Noble said.

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