November 24, 2003

NT will hold back Windows Server 2003

Microsoft says Windows Server 2003 as an operating system capable of pushing aside Unix and mainframes. But most customers are still waiting to
upgrade from Windows NT 4 -- and at a slow pace, according to analysts.

Research firm Gartner estimates that between 60 to 70 percent of Windows Server users run NT 4, the grandfather of Windows Server 2003. Microsoft's
own estimates are closer to 35 percent. But 64 case studies released last week suggest the number is much higher.

The large number of customers that use NT 4 are in no rush to upgrade to newer software or are in the process of moving to Windows 2000, analysts say,
and that could hurt Windows Server 2003 sales for some time.

Gartner estimates that by the end of 2004, as much as one-third of NT 4 users will move to Windows Server 2003. "Two-thirds to 75 percent" will still
be NT 4 customers by the end of next year, said Gartner analyst Tom Bittman. "There's a lot of NT 4 dark matter out there."


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