Windows retirement plan announced

IT managers are reconsidering software strategies after Microsoft announced the dates when it will end support for versions of Windows, including NT and 2000.

Support for Windows 2000 Professional, still being evaluated in many large firms, ends on 31 March 2004. Support for Windows NT 4.x and Windows 98 ends on 30 June 2003.

Microsoft put the dates online late last month, but did little to publicise them. The company said the dates would help users select software, but the deadlines are so tight that critics say Microsoft is trying to push firms to upgrade.

"Microsoft will extend support in certain cases," said Microsoft vice president Charles Stevens. He added that Microsoft will typically support its latest operating system and the previous two releases. For large firms, it may agree to extend support, albeit with provisos. "We don't protect (customers) if they change the underlying hardware. Then we can't help them, so customers in those situations need to lock down systems," he said.

News source: ZDnet

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