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Microsoft and IBM Announce Windows 2000 Readiness

Joint Initiatives Designed to Provide Customers With Smooth Migration to Windows 2000

REDMOND, Wash., and KIRKLAND, Wash. - Dec. 7, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp. today announced they are working closely on a series of joint initiatives to help prepare the two companies' customers for the upcoming launch of the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system. These initiatives will help the companies' mutual customers make a smooth transition to the new operating system once it is released, which currently is scheduled for Feb. 17, 2000. IBM will be one of the leading technology companies to provide innovative solutions, support and services in time for the launch of Windows 2000.

"Microsoft and IBM have been working together for more than two years to develop solutions designed to help customers make a quick and easy transition to Windows 2000," said Deborah Willingham, vice president of marketing for the Business and Enterprise Division at Microsoft. "IBM's technology, enterprise expertise and close collaboration with Microsoft, along with the capabilities of Windows 2000, will produce powerful and reliable solutions for our mutual customers."

"The breadth of solutions that IBM and Microsoft can deliver will be hard to beat," said Ralph Martino, vice president of strategy and marketing for the IBM Personal Systems Group. "Our customers will enjoy e-business solutions that will help them prepare for a new wave in enterprise computing - an era that will be marked by more powerful servers and a plethora of end-user access devices that sit at the edge of the network."

Through the beta test programs, customers are already seeing the benefits of having IBM manage their implementation of Windows 2000.

Joe Cirra, assistant vice president of the MIS department for Mellon Financial, said, "I think there is a tremendous advantage for Mellon in working with IBM on Windows 2000. By working closely with IBM, we both win. Mellon is able to test the operability of our standard IBM hardware and software with Windows 2000, and we are able to provide IBM with real-world examples of how their systems are performing with Windows 2000. Mellon will get reliable systems when Windows 2000 is released and implemented, and IBM can be sure that its systems will work effectively in that environment."

Current Windows 2000 initiatives under way at IBM's Systems and Services divisions include the following:

  • Joint collaboration. IBM currently has more than 150 developers collaborating with Microsoft at IBM's Center for Microsoft Technologies, which is located five miles from the Microsoft campus in Redmond. These people focus on joint technology development projects, daily interaction with Microsoft through the Windows 2000 development process and optimization of IBM's systems for Windows operating systems. With its enterprise expertise in systems development, IBM provides high-quality, highly reliable systems for Windows 2000. Currently, more than 300 IBM systems are listed as Windows 2000-compatible on Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility List, including Netfinity servers, PC300 Desktops, Intellistation workstations and ThinkPad notebooks.
  • Enterprise-ready focus. IBM's X-Architecture is the IBM Netfinity server blueprint for providing an enterprise-class hardware platform, which leverages IBM's heritage of manageability, reliability and high availability from its midrange and mainframe divisions. IBM's Netfinity Availability Extensions for Microsoft Cluster Server, which allows for clusters of up to eight Windows NT operating system-based servers, is one product that has already emerged from the company's X-Architecture efforts and collaboration with Microsoft. IBM recently announced manageability tools and IBM's Client Security Solutions that will enhance the manageability and security of Windows 2000-based environments. The manageability tools include Netfinity Director, Universal Management Services (UMS), System Migration Assistant, LAN Client Control Manager and Software rejuvenation (predictive failure for software).
  • Deployment experience. IBM's Enterprise Deployment Partnership Program for Windows 2000 is another example of IBM's investment in enabling customers to rapidly deploy Windows 2000. Through this program, IBM's Personal Systems Group and IBM Global Services have gained expertise that will improve the experience other customers have as they implement Windows 2000. IBM also leads Microsoft in working with customers in Windows 2000 Datacenter beta testing and pilot implementations. As a member of Microsoft's Rapid Deployment Program, IBM recently announced that it would have the largest deployment of Windows 2000 Professional, with plans to deploy on 300,000 PCs worldwide over three years.
  • Service readiness. IBM recently announced new Windows 2000-based services, which are designed to help companies evaluate and deploy Windows 2000. The new services offering, available through IBM Global Services' Enterprise Services for Microsoft Technologies Practice, addresses five key Windows 2000 implementation areas: Readiness Evaluation, Analysis and Strategy, Architecture and Design, Implementation Planning and Development and Implementation. The new services are dedicated to providing the world-class expertise and broad business process knowledge that companies need to efficiently deploy and optimize their Windows 2000-based solutions.
  • ISV readiness. Through its worldwide Solution Partnership Centers, IBM will provide developers with professionally staffed instructors of Windows 2000 and porting labs that will test and validate computing solutions for Windows 2000 on Netfinity servers, enabling smoother installations and reliable implementation.
  • Hardware service and support. IBM currently employs 118,000 support people and 2,500 specialists in 164 countries. IBM's PC Help Centers have been providing Windows 2000 beta support for more than six months, and IBM's goal of having the PC Help Centers fully trained before the launch of Windows 2000 will be met. IBM has 15 around-the-clock IBM PC Help Center locations, all linked to a worldwide knowledge base. Also, IBM Netfinity offers comprehensive 90-day server startup support for all IBM Netfinity servers, which will include support for Windows 2000 when it is generally available. IBM also offers 30-day startup support for desktop and notebook computers.
  • Customer programs. IBM was an early participant in the Windows 2000 Ready PC program and is now offering upgrades to Windows 2000 Professional for virtually all PC300 desktops, Intellistation workstations and ThinkPad notebooks that ship preloaded with Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

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