Windows 2000 has been given nine months to live, as far as OEMs are concerned, and Microsoft is pressuring the PC companies to stop offering dual install Win2k/WinXP systems immediately.
Microsoft operating systems magically become more expensive and difficult to obtain as soon as there's a new rev out, but so long as the previous version is still available on new PCs via OEMs, business customers have a relatively simple way to stick with their current OS, rather than having to do an expensive rollout of the replacement.
The demise of dual install, which makes it easier and cheaper for OEMs to cater for customers in this position, will make life harder for everybody but Microsoft, and of itself will make the PC companies more inclined to drop Win2k. And as their contracts won't allow them to sell Win2k as of April 2003, well, there's less and less point in wriggling, isn't there, folks?
The moves will have an immediate impact on upgrade strategies and costs, and by a miraculous coincidence Microsoft's widely-hated Licensing 6.0 becomes The Law at the end of this month. So, you're an IT manager with a major installation standardised on Win2k, you haven't decided whether to go for Licensing 6.0 yet, what are your options?
The supply of OEM Win2k machines is going to dry up soon, and you can probably reckon on those still available up until next April becoming more expensive and difficult to obtain. After April you will have to install Win2k on new machines yourself, and you'll have to source the Win2k licences from somewhere other than your OEM. You can still do this via the "downgrade" options in Microsoft licensing deals (whereby you pay for the current product and have rights to install the old one of your choice) but, um, don't you think it would probably be cheaper if you did this via Licensing 6.0? Gotcha...
News source: The Register