Microsoft's gala launch for Windows 2000 is slated for Feb. 17, but Compaq says it plans to ship systems to its customers three weeks earlier.
Compaq and other original equipment manufacturers received the final code for Windows 2000 Professional, Server, and Advanced Server Dec. 15, the day Microsoft released its next-generation operating system to manufacturing. Compaq says it will start shipping servers and desktops running Windows 2000 on Jan. 24. "It takes three to four weeks for us to do final testing and imaging after getting the final code," says Urs Renggli, Compaq's manager of Microsoft software marketing. "We're pretty sure the other OEMs will shoot for this date as well."
Compaq plans to price Windows 2000 systems comparably with Windows NT 4 machines, but will run "some aggressive promotions" on services during the first and second quarters, according to Renggli. While plans haven't been finalized, Compaq could offer enterprise customers discounted Active Directory assessment and planning services, and include discounted or free "CarePaq" phone support and break/fix services with sales to small and midsize companies.
A Microsoft spokesman wasn't available for comment at press time.