IBM Deploys Windows 2000 Professional Internally

Late last month, IBM announced that it will make Windows 2000 Professional (Win2K Pro) its standard internal desktop OS. IBM is one of Microsoft’s rapid deployment partners. I spoke with Dick Sullivan, IBM’s vice president of integrated software. “Press stories regarding \[Win2K Pro\] deployment are not 100 percent accurate,” he said. Some of those stories had reported that IBM planned to deploy 300,000 copies of Win2K Pro, which is not true. According to Sullivan, 300,000 is the number of IBM employees. Although IBM plans to deploy several copies of Win2K Pro as its standard internal desktop, the company won't place Win2K Pro on every desktop. “We believe that Professional is a very important operating system and will be successful in the long term,” said Sullivan. Therefore, IBM is standardizing most of its desktops and large fleet of laptops on Win2K Pro. The standard IBM desktop also includes Lotus SmartSuite, Lotus Notes, and a Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator. (Sullivan added that a smaller percentage of desktops also deploy Microsoft Internet Explorer—IE.) IBM will not perform an extensive internal deployment of Win2K Server. According to Sullivan, “IBM is primarily using its servers, not PC servers.” IBM relies on large, clustered servers, like RISC System 3000s, and doesn't plan to do much domain reorganization. Sullivan told me that IBM is currently using Windows 95 as its primary desktop OS. The company had been looking at replacing that with an NT desktop. “Like a lot of customers, we decided to wait and not get \[NT\] 4.0," he said. According to Sullivan, IBM had largely skipped a migration from Win95 to Windows 98 on the desktop as its standard platform because the company had already made a decision to go to NT. When IBM was deciding on a desktop OS, the company didn't use total cost of ownership (TCO) extensively as a determining factor. “TCO was not necessarily a major factor for us. To achieve a lot of Win2K Professional’s benefits, you need Win2K Server," said Sullivan. Because IBM is not using Win2K Server, it wouldn't see those benefits. IBM plans to deploy Win2K Pro primarily in the second quarter of 2000. However, the company doesn't expect to finish the deployment during 2000 because of IBM's complex environment and many mobile users.

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