Microsoft will phase out a slew of products as of December 15, citing its 2001 legal settlement with Sun Microsystems over Java as the impetus. Among the products that Microsoft will no longer make available to customers through any of the Microsoft's sales channels are Windows 98, SQL Server 7 and a number of versions of Office 2000, according to a note from a Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) program manager posted to a public Microsoft newsgroup. It also appears some versions of NT 4.0 are also due to be phased out, but as the note is ambiguous on this point, it's impossible to tell which ones. The December 4 note, which is featured on the MSDN Public Newsgroup, was signed by Andy Boyd, MSDN Subscriber Downloads program manager.
Due to a settlement agreement reached in January 2001, the following products are being phased out and will no longer available to customers through MSDN Subscriber Downloads or other channels at Microsoft," according to Boyd's note. "These products will be removed from MSDN Subscriber Downloads as of December 15th, 2003." The products targeted for phase-out are those that embed Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine technology. Other products on the Dec. 15 phase-out list include: Office XP Developer and Office 2000 Developer editions; Office 20000 Premium Service Release 1; BackOffice Server 2000; Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) 2000; Internet Explorer 5.5; and Visual Studio 6 Microsoft Developer Edition. One developer, who requested anonymity, noted that a number of products on the due-to-be-phased-out list are key for many companies.
News source: eWeek