Copies of Windows 2000 are now available for business customers in more than 60 countries around the world.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17, 2000 — With a giant laptop computer providing the backdrop at the venerable Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates officially launched Windows 2000 today at the Windows 2000 Conference & Expo.
"Today we unveil the future of computing. Companies of all sizes are already deploying Windows 2000 for its scalability, reliability and performance, "said Gates." Windows 2000 represents a significant industrywide effort. More than 1,000 partners, over $1 billion in engineering and more than 5,000 individuals rallied together to make this product the platform that companies can bet their businesses on. Windows 2000 truly begins the next generation of computing."
The Microsoft co-founder was assisted by rock guitarist Carlos Santana, whose band began playing its hit single, "Smooth," on stage after Gates concluded his keynote address, filled with Windows 2000 videos and demonstrations.
Windows 2000 is broadly available in more than 60 countries and 10 languages, including English, German, Japanese (two versions), French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Korean and Brazilian Portuguese.
Microsoft has invested more than $1 billion in the development of Windows 2000, and more than 5,000 employees worked on the new platform, Gates said.
Some 500 person-years were devoted to making Windows 2000 the most reliable operating system today for businesses and Web sites, meaning that 500 people worked full-time for an entire year on reliability enhancements, Gates continued.
"In terms of reliability and scalability, we've taken a new approach that goes beyond that you could every do with a single expensive hardware box," said Gates. "We take a software approach for reliability and scale that allows you to take any number of PC servers and combine those together to get a level of support that's never been available before -- and we've done it without giving up the benefits of Windows and the PC."
"Microsoft is proud that Windows 2000 is now broadly available around the world," said President and CEO Steve Ballmer. " We know that Windows 2000 will improve business operations tremendously for customers around the globe.
The formal launch of Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server comes at a time when the new platform already is gaining considerable industry momentum from early adoptions by customers.
More than 250 corporations already have deployed Windows 2000 successfully in a variety of mission-critical environments worldwide. Customers have deployed more than 150,000 Windows 2000 Professional desktops or notebooks and more than 9,000 Windows 2000 Servers or Advanced Servers in production environments.
Customers such as AIMCO, Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks, Sears Homelife, Troop Law and Stride Rite Corp. already have completely deployed Windows 2000 across their organizations.
Many other key customers from around the world, such as General Motors Corp., Wells Fargo Bank and Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., have already begun deploying Windows 2000, and have committed to installing it on nearly 2 million desktops, notebooks and servers.
Thanks to the enhanced reliability and manageability of the new platform, these and major corporations will be saving millions of dollars a year due to reductions in their total cost of ownership.
"We've already benefited from our investment in Windows 2000," said Bob White, chief information officer for Stride Rite. "We were able to deploy Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server quickly and easily, and management tools such as Active Directory provide a powerful way for us to maintain our environment with more security and control than ever before."
Hundreds of PC manufacturers worldwide are now pre-installing the shipping versions of Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server on their business desktops, notebooks and servers. Thousands of system builders also are pre-installing the new operating system on custom-built PCs for the wide variety of small businesses migrating to the next generation of business computing.
The Windows 2000 family of products also is enjoying tremendous support from independent software vendors (ISVs). More than 3,000 companies have committed to delivering nearly 8,000 Windows 2000-ready applications, and 25 applications have received the "Certified for Windows 2000" logo, exceeding the number of applications receiving the certification logo at the Windows 95 launch.
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates proudly displays a copy of Windows 2000, the most rigorously tested product in the company's history, made broadly available today.
The Microsoft Windows 2000 Global Launch Partners -- Adobe Systems Inc., Commerce One Inc., i2 Technologies, and SAP AG -- are showcasing their strong commitment as ISVs to Windows 2000 by delivering comprehensive solutions, services and support.
"It is critical that our customers have a complete set of professional Web publishing tools optimized for the Windows 2000 operating system," said Bryan Lamkin, vice president of marketing for Adobe Systems. "The combination of the new operating system from Microsoft and Abode's commitment to certifying our desktop applications for Windows will give customers the powerful solutions they need to develop dynamic, visually compelling Web sites, and engage their audiences."
Some 14,000 people attended the first two days of the three-day Windows 2000 Conference & Expo, , an IDG World Expo-managed event where information-technology professionals and others are receiving training and instruction on numerous aspects of Windows 2000. Thirty sessions are being held at the conference, which ends today.
The Windows 2000 Expo also includes a trade show featuring more than 200 exhibitors at the Moscone Center.
"Every hotel in town is at capacity, and every conference session has been 10 percent over capacity," said Christine McCaffrey Trostle, director of marketing communications for the Windows Division.
In particular, the hands-on demonstration training sessions have been completely full, "and there are more than 200 workstations where IT pros can get hands-on training," said Jonathan Perera, group product manager for Windows 2000.
"We estimate the total number of demonstrations shown by partners to be in excess of 2,000," he added.
Damgaard Inc., a Microsoft Solution Provider based in Denmark, has shifted its line of office-management software in recent years to run solely on the Windows platform.
"Windows 2000 is extremely stable and much easier to deploy," said David Vitak, Damgaard director of product marketing. "We are the first enterprise-resource planning software package to be certified for Windows 2000."
"Windows 2000 is incredible," said Rudi Loehwing, a spokesman for Executive Software, which makes defragmentation software for Windows operating systems. "I think Microsoft is delivering to the enterprise customer exactly what is needed in terms of scalability and reliability."
The industry has more reason to be excited when Windows 2000 Datacenter Server -- the fourth product in the new platform -- is released in 120 days, said noted technology author Brian Livingston, a contributing editor for InfoWorld magazine. "Microsoft is now moving aggressively to the top end of the server market with this product," he said.
"It's all coming together," Perera said. "Our customers and our partners are more excited than we ever expected. The buzz in the industry is happening."